The Zimbabwe International Book Fair is underway in Harare, and to mark the event, which coincides with news that there are now over half a billion Africans online, TNPS and parent company StreetLib have produced an updated version of our March presentation on the African digital opportunity.
The StreetLib press release, always, is presented below in full.
But before we get to that, just to note that, as well as Zimbabwe increasing its online population to 8.4 million, we have seen some notable advances in internet take-up in other countries across the continent. We covered some of that here:
But here’s a summary of the most notable numbers.
- Rwanda has now just shy of 6 million internet users.
- Both Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are now at 11 million each.
- Ethiopia has topped 20 million people online.
- South Africa now has more internet users than Canada.
- Tanzania has taken us all by surprise and is now at 43 million, alongside Kenya. Both have more people online than Spain.
- Out in front, by a long way, is Nigeria, which has jumped to 119 million people online, and is now the 6th largest country in the world by internet users, ahead of Russia and Japan.
With those new numbers in mind, here’s the press release issued earlier today, that can be found with a live link to the presentation here.
[Press Release] With over half a billion Africans online, StreetLib delivers a presentation showing the digital advantage for Zim publishers at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair
Loreto, Italy, July 30th 2019.
525 million. That’s how any Africans are connecting to the internet as we prepare to start the new decade. By 2030 it is expected to be nearer 800 million, most of it driven by smartphones.
In many parts of the world publishers are embracing digital reading as an opportunity to reach new audiences and boost revenue streams, and at the International Publishers Association Seminar in Nairobi in June the digital opportunity was a key theme.
To mark the occasion of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair this week the Italy-based global gateway books aggregator and publishing facilitator StreetLib has prepared an updated version of its March presentation on the digital publishing opportunity in Africa, with a focus on Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe was among the movers and shakers as the global internet statistics were updated at the half-year mark. Today Zimbabwe has 8.4 million people online, while across Africa the total rose to 525 million — over 200 million more than the USA.
Explained StreetLib CEO Giacomo D’Angelo,
“Africa is often regarded as a digital backwater, but the reality is very different. Nigeria is the 6th largest country in the world by internet users, with more people online than the UK, Germany, Russia or Japan.
Kenya and Tanzania both have more internet users than Spain.
With 8.4 million people Zimbabwe is far from the biggest, but Zim publishing still has much to gain from embracing the digital advantage.
In our presentation to mark the Zimbabwe book fair this year we note that New Zealand has a digital book sector worth $37 million (ZWD 13.4 billion) with an online population of just 4.2 million people — half that of Zimbabwe.
Among the sub-themes of the Zim IBF Indaba this year is “Mutation and the Evolution of the Book,” “Moving into the future — the Virtual Library” and “Print to e-Books.”
Regrettably we cannot be there in person this year to support those themes, but our presentation should go some way to validating the need for Zim publishers to embrace a hybrid print and digital business model for the next decade.”
Earlier this year StreetLib rolled out publisher portals for every country in Africa, and in June it launched a bi-weekly B2B newsletter for African publishers aimed at showing how digital is transforming publishing in other parts of the world.
At the Nairobi Seminar StreetLib announced its plans for a Pan-African Digital Library Hub.
The presentation “Zimbabwe International Book fair 2019 — the digital advantage” can be found on the StreetLib Zimbabwe publisher portal page here.
StreetLib (www.streetlib.com) is a publishing facilitator and a global gateway to the $143 billion international book market, 70% of which is happening outside the USA, for publishers big and small. Whether you are an independent author or a multinational publisher, StreetLib offers unrivalled global reach through our worldwide network of retail, digital library and subscription service outlets. StreetLib distributes ebooks, audiobooks, comics, magazines and print-on-demand paperbacks. StreetLib’s standard model is no up-front fees and it takes just a 10% commission per sale made.
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