Worldreader brings mother-tongue ebooks to feature phones in Africa


Literacy in empoverished lands is a pressing issue, especially on the African continent. But NGOs and other organisations are looking to eradicate this discretion entirely. The latest partnership formed will see the African division of the Cambridge University Press partner with NGO digital book provider, Worldreader, to make over 390 ebooks available for Africans across the continent for free.

Thanks to the dropping price of technology, and increased adoption rates, it’s easier to spread educating materials in developing countries. Using the Worldreader app, users can access a digital library of ebooks without the need for expensive or specialised hardware.

The content and app will be available to the public via the BINU cloud platform, and can be accessed as something as simple as a feature phone.

The beauty perhaps of the system run through BINU is that the user doesn’t need sophisticated, and overly expensive hardware. A feature phone with a browser capable of running Java applets, can access the system, allowing for an even further reach.

Worldreader, originating in San Francisco, plays its trade across much of Africa, the Asian subcontinent, and a few other areas of the globe, using ubiquitous technologies to increase literacy levels. Partnering with the Cambridge African Language Library, and managed by the eponymous University, will ensure that content in the mother tongue of various African countries, including West Africa, the Rift Valley and Southern Africa, will be available.

As technology becomes ever-present, Worldreader continues to grow, with over 650 000 books completed on the service in 2013, with 330 000 active monthly users.



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