Renowned regional publishers, Longhorn Publishers this week started operations in the country with an aim to supply the local education sector with quality learning materials.
The publishing firm which has its head offices in Nairobi, Kenya and has presence in a number of Eastern African countries including Tanzania, and Uganda seeks to establish partnership with local stakeholders.
Speaking at the launch held at the Kigali Serena Hotel on Monday, Francis Thombe Nyammo the Chairman of publisher’s Board of Directors said that they were impressed by Rwanda’s commitment to education and they too shared in the belief in quality education.
“We are happy to be in Rwanda because statistics show that Rwanda is a friend of education and its commitment to education outweighs all other African countries,” Nyammo said.
“Longhorn believes that high quality education is one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life. That is why we have heavily invested in all the regions we operate in,” Nyammo added.
Local education stakeholders -such as Rwanda Education Board (REB), Rwanda Libraries, Rwanda Publishers and Booksellers Union (RPBU) — were upbeat on the entrance of the regional publisher mostly because of Longhorn’s vast experience.
Director in Charge of Languages and Humanities in Curriculum Department at REB Augustine Gatare, said that publisher’s entrance into the local education eco-system was long overdue.
Among the benefits Gatare noted were fast and timely distribution of learning materials to students all over the country.
“In the past we have been having a problem of distribution of material such as text books because some had been printed in Malaysia, transported through Mombasa to Uganda before reaching here. It would take a very long time. But now that they are here, that means certainly that services will be faster and books will be reaching schools early enough to benefit the learners,” Gatare said.
Stephen Mugisha, the Chairman of the local publishers union said that Longhorn Publishers penetration in the Rwanda market will further improve the quality of education materials in use.
“We can’t shy away from that fact that Longhorn Publishers is more experienced. As local publishers we are their partners and we are hoping to learn a lot from them and they will learn something from us,” Mugisha noted.
The publishers are the only publisher within East and Central Africa region that have so far been listed a stock market.
Other than East African countries, the publisher also supplies books to Malawi, Zambia and South Sudan.