KaiOS Technologies and Worldreader empowers one million readers

By Stanley Senya

Accra, Nov. 15, GNA – KaiOS Technologies and Worldreader has empowered one million readers through the BookSmart App.

The partnership is a strategic joint effort to fight the global learning crisis and bridge the digital divide. 

A statement issued in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said since the launch of the partnership, over one million people, mainly in low- and middle-income countries where the learning crisis and the digital divide was more severe, have read over three million books via the KaiOS powered-smart feature phones on BooKSmart, Worldreader’s mobile reading app. 

It said the alliance has had an important impact in India where it has been activated on the JioPhones and made available on the Jio Store. 

Madam Rebecca Chandler Leege, the Chief Executive Officer of Worldreader said “This partnership represents putting the power of reading into the hands of those who need it most.”

She said despite 95 per cent global broadband coverage, the usage gap remained one of the main challenges for people to benefit from the Internet. 

She said according to the Global Connectivity Report 2022, 2.7 billion people (one third of the worldwide population) still did not connect to the Internet. 

The CEO said device affordability stood as a significant barrier, with nearly 2.5 billion people living in countries, where the cost of the cheapest smartphone accounts for a quarter or more of their average monthly income (Alliance for Affordable Internet, 2020).

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the learning crisis is particularly worrying, with more than 86 per cent of ten years old children not able to comprehend a simple text, and where access to reading materials at home is scarce or nonexistent. 

She said with most countries having as low as seven per cent of books present at the household level (Countdown to 2030, 2021), adding that the lack of access had a significant impact in building healthy reading habits among families.

Mr Sebastien Codeville, CEO and co-founder of KaiOS Technologies said both organizations were committed to expanding their global reach and impact, focusing primarily on Sub-Saharan Africa, to continue tackling the device affordability and learning crisis. 

He said “KaiOS’ mission to close the digital divide would not be complete without meaningful partnerships like the one with Worldreader, which enables our users to access useful and impactful content that contributes to changing their life.”

Since 2020, KaiOS Technologies, the web-based mobile operating system powering a new category of smart feature phones, and Worldreader, the international edtech nonprofit, have partnered to deliver high-quality reading materials to first-time and early internet users on the affordable KaiOS-powered smart feature phones.