Kenyan online books platform eKitabu has expanded its partnerships to include deals with the French Embassy, Moran Publishers, Oxford University Press and Education Development Trust as it seeks to broaden its digital book portfolio.
The deals with Moran Publishers and Oxford University Press will expand the firm’s digital library, which currently comprises more than 450,000 titles as well as financing new and existing eKitabu projects.
The company, however, declined to disclose the value of the funding agreements.
eKitabu disclosed the deals during its Digital Essay Competition held last week that it said had engaged more than 13,000 learners this year.
The firm, which is East Africa’s first e-book store, has this year rolled out a sign language project in which storybooks are made into videos narrated in sign language and made available for deaf students across the country.
Its Digital Essay Competition also included a category in braille and sign language as well as participants with autism.
‘The 146.3 per cent increase in submissions comes from collaboration with teachers and partners. In essays this year, we see students from mainstream and special needs schools envisioning how they can use ICT to help reach the goal of inclusive and quality education for all,” said Will Clurman, chief executive and co-founder at eKitabu.
The publisher said it is eyeing more partnerships with stakeholders in Kenya’s education sector in order to make it possible for teachers to access and use their digitised literature.
The firm, which operates in 14 African countries, was founded in 2012.
Since then it has partnered with more than 1,500 schools in the counties to access its books that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has approved for use in the learning institutions.