Amazon sends Kindles to Africa

A charity called Worldreader.org, which is attempting to boost literacy rates in the third world using technology, has persuaded Amazon to send a big pile of Kindle ereaders over to Africa.

Ghana's Ministry of Education is running a trial to find out two things - firstly if the ereaders can pump up the percentage of Ghanian kids who read, and secondly whether opting for ebooks can reduce some of the spending on textbooks that its schools are forced into. It's being initially tested among 11- to 12-year-olds.

Further trials are planned for Rwanda and Kenya, but early findings suggest that ebook readers would need to be reduced to a price of around $75 for the technology to become truly beneficial in third world classrooms. The foundation's co-founder Colin McElwee told Pocket-lint:

"The long term potential for this scheme is truly enormous. However to make it work requires the development of a complete eco-system that takes into account the demands and desires of the education authorities, the schools, students, e-reader companies and the content providers. We need them all on board and hopefully the trials will be the catalyst that brings the elements together".