Worldreader, Opera reach five million digital readers in Africa


Four months into its partnership with mobile browser Opera Mini, Worldreader's goal to avail 25,000 books to mobile phone users in Africa has achieved solid results, with the companies confirming reach to five million readers.

Worldreader is global organisation focused on literacy. It has aligned with software provider Opera to provide access to literature online. This partnership now aims to double its reach and leverage statistics which indicate that most readers are accessing the internet via feature phones with connectivity functionality.

"We want to make sure the entire world has access to the books they need and want," said Elizabeth Hensick Wood, managing director for Worldreader, Europe. "Through this partnership, Opera and Worldreader aim to reach millions of people every month, across 34 African countries, through the cell phones they already have."

Opera says the partnership benefits it users on the continent.

"We've placed the Worldreader icon in a coveted space on the Opera Mini speed-dial; right next to the Wikipedia button, because we believe access to reading, and access to knowledge go hand-in-hand. We hope access to these tools will help make our world more connected, empowered, and educated," Richard Monday, VP Africa, Opera Software said.

Access to relevant and new books in Africa is hard to come by due to the high cost of purchase and lack of proper storage services such as libraries.

This is why Worldreader has opted for a tool that is ubiquitous in Africa.

"While more affluent parts of the world may view digital reading as a luxury, we see it as a necessity in the developing world, where physical books are often non-existent," Wood said.

Worldreader says it gains one million new readers every month spread from Africa, Asia and Latin America.