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KLB Launches Grade 4, 5 & 6 CBC Encyclopedia As KPA Calls For End To Book Piracy

Kenya Publishers Association Marks Nakuru As The Epicenter Of Book Piracy

KLB Launches Grade 4, 5 & 6 CBC Encyclopedia As KPA Calls For End To Book Piracy

The Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) has identified Nakuru County as the epicenter of Kenyan book piracy, a vice that the KPA claims is costing the country’s publishers up to 40% of the market share.

According to the association, school textbooks are the most important target because they account for 90% of Kenya’s book market and are virtually guaranteed to sell.

Mr Kiarie Kamau, Chairman of the KPA, expressed regret that many pirated books are sold at the same price as the original versions because few buyers can spot a fake, adding that counterfeited books not only cause publishers to incur heavy losses but also jeopardize educational quality.

According to Mr. Kamau, some of the pirated books contain errors that occur during the scanning of the original copies, misleading students.

“The books also have poor binding and print quality. The text is illegible and unfriendly to the learners. The growing menace is resulting in the loss of employment for most professionals in the book publishing industry,” he said.

Speaking in Nakuru at the launch of the Kenya Literature Bureau’s Grade 4, 5 and 6 Competency-Based Curriculum Encyclopedia, the chairman expressed concern that the flood of illegal books in most parts of the country was causing a chain reaction of losses in the book supply chain.

According to Mr Kamau, most people believe that publishing is simply printing. 

However, he notes that Publishing requires a significant investment in content creation, editorial work, hiring book designers, warehousing, marketing, legal, and financial aspects.

“Furthermore, the government loses value-added tax on untraceable book sales, while honest distributors and bookshops suffer on low sales and, needless to say, authors lose out on royalties,” he added

He stated that an anti-piracy campaign was currently being carried out by the Kenya Publishers Association (KPA), the Kenya Copyright Board, the Ministry of Education, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, the Anti-counterfeit Agency, and the Kenya Police.

The chairman of the KPA advised parents to buy books from dealers who have electronic tax register receipts, as this will keep the fraudsters at bay.

He stated that KPA implemented security features to assist schools and parents in determining the authenticity of books.

Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Victor Lomaria and Rift Valley Regional Director of Education Jared Obiero attended the event.

Dr. Lomaria noted that, in addition to disrupting the publishing industry, piracy was harming Kenya’s knowledge base.

“Piracy discourages authors who want to make contributions to society through writing books as their knowledge is lost to the rest of us. At KLB we are coming up with security features (organograms) which are embedded in the book seal.

“We are also asking the government to write to all schools requiring them to buy books from shops which give them electronic tax register receipts,” he said


Dr. Lomaria stated that the government had regulated KLB’s Grade 4, 5, and 6 Competency Based Curriculum Encyclopedia content on technical specifications through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to conform to the new curriculum.

Mr. Obiero noted that in the digital age, piracy has evolved and copying has become easier. He claimed that electronic files can be created and distributed over the Internet in a relatively short period of time.

KLB Launches Grade 4, 5 & 6 CBC Encyclopedia As KPA Calls For End To Book Piracy


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