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Ghana is Africa's latest country to get a digital library

Entering with its English-language content will leverage the country's growing digital subscription market

Ghana is Africa's latest country to get a digital library
YouScribe has over 1 million audio and eBooks, newspapers, press titles, and educational documents

YouScribe, a France-based, Orange-owned next-gen reading service provider with operations in Africa, has expanded its offering to Ghana. The platform has partnered with Digital Virgo, a leading mobile payment specialist, and MTN Ghana, to roll out in the West African nation. 

Ghana is the second English-speaking country into which YouScribe is making inroads. In June 2021, it launched in South Africa, also partnering with MTN's operations in the market. Due to its French roots, the service is predominant in Francophone Africa

Currently, French-speaking users account for 90% of its African subscriber base, with footprints in countries such as Morocco and Ivory Coast, which are respectively its first and second biggest markets. 

Entering Ghana with its English-language content will leverage the country's growing digital subscription market, projected to hit 6.1 million users by 2027. 

This base exists on the back of its high smartphone penetration, standing at 99.7% as of Q3 2023. The development also coincides with the growth of Ghana's digital publishing sector. Sales have increased five times since 2018, reaching over $35 million this year.

YouScribe claims to have more than 1 million audio and ebooks, newspapers, press titles, and educational documents in its 13-year-old catalog. Since its inception, it has gathered over 1 million subscribers and has become the world's largest French digital library. In Africa, it has a presence in at least 11 countries. 

For a daily fee, readers can access the entire catalog. In South Africa, the service costs $0.19 (R3) per day for users on the MTN network. For Ghana, it is starting with around $0.056 (GH₵ 0.75). With this low-cost model, it has been able to gain hundreds of thousands of subscribers in Africa. 

According to YouScribe, its users have increased twenty-fold in the last 4 years, surpassing 1.5 million readers across the globe, more than 95% of which are in Africa. 

"The launch of YouScribe in Ghana is an important and ambitious step in our aspiration to connect cultures through a multilingual digital library featuring authors from all over the continent. We are very proud to be able to promote Ghanaian culture in our library," said YouScribe Founder and CEO Juan Pirlot de Corbion.

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