Fountain Publishers, one of East Africa’s leading publishing houses, is struggling to stay afloat in the Rwanda market.
Started by Ugandan businessman James Rwehabura Tumusiime in 1988, the company has been publishing maps, educational and literary material in Uganda and Rwanda.
ChimpReports understands that in Rwanda, the better part of Fountain’s business originated from the Education Ministry.
But it emerged on Thursday morning that Rwanda’s Education Ministry has since started its own in-house textbook production line.
The Ministry also intends to have complete ownership of each and every text book used in schools across Rwanda.
Officials told this investigative website that publishers were last week summoned and informed of the government’s decision as it seeks to realise what is known as a Competence Based Curriculum.
“Without business from the Education Ministry, I don’t see how Fountain Publishers will survive,” said an official informed about this development.
In 2016, government spent about $7.9m on procurement and distribution of more than 1.8 million textbooks and reading materials for the new competence based curriculum for pre-primary, primary and secondary schools.
The Ministry has since asked publishers to submit quotations for purchase of textbooks’ copyright.
This means publishers can only sell copyrights to the ministry which will publish the books.
Efforts to reach Tumusiime for comment were futile as he did not respond to our calls.
It’s understood other publishers in the country are grappling with the same challenges.
Fountain Publishers has 1,000 titles in school textbooks, academic, general, fiction, tourism, children and local language books.
It also boasts an extensive distribution network in the region and in international markets. The company also offers publishing consultancy services.