Mobile online users in Africa have spent more than four million hours of reading books on their mobile phones in 2018. This milestone represents an increase of 32 per cent from the same time period last year.
Opera and Worldreader, a global nonprofit organization that believes everyone can be a reader, made this known on this year’s International Literacy Day.
Since the year 2015 Opera and Worldreader have been bringing free e-books to millions of mobile users in Africa through Opera Mini, the leading mobile browser in data compression.
The technology behind Opera Mini compresses text and images to 10 per cent of their original size, reducing data consumption and the cost of data on a mobile phone and allowing users to spend more time reading and downloading their favourite books when using Worldreader.
Speaking on the development, the Vice President of Product Marketing and Communications at Opera, Jan Standal, “We are very happy to contribute to literacy in Africa with our Opera Mini browser as we give mobile users access to Worldreader’s vast library. Since we started this partnership we have added more than nine million new readers in Africa who now enjoy books from different genres such as romance, adventure and education, among others.”
According to the latest report of Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association, “The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2018”, at the end of last year, there were more than 444 million unique mobile subscribers and 250 million smartphone users. These numbers represent a big opportunity to bring reading to millions in the Sub-Saharan region through technology.
Co-Founder at Worldreader, Colin Mcelwee, said. “We know that mobile phone affordability and the convenience of owning one are two big reasons why we are seeing more and more people accessing our e-book collection through their mobile devices in Africa.
“Our partnership with Opera Mini is a perfect match, with Opera browser being the number one choice for mobile users across Africa, it provides an incredible opportunity to get people reading.”
In a study conducted by Worldreader; Reading in the Mobile Era, it shows that 65 per cent of mobile readers in Africa are men while 35 per cent are women. However, women tend to spend 11.5 minutes reading on average while men read 6.5 minutes per session, making women more frequent readers.
Moreover, African mobile readers prefer books related to love and romance, especially those that come from local authors and publishers.