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Longhorn to spend Sh200Mn to digitize books in new digital strategy

Speaking to Capital FM Business, Longhorn Managing Director Simon Ngigi says the new digital platform will also see an increased reading culture with books readily available for everyone to read./FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Longhorn Publishers sees an untapped opportunity in digital printing going forward even as the government is set to roll out the digital learning program.

The firm has set aside Sh200 million to convert physical books to a digital format ahead of the roll out the digital learning program.

Managing Director of Longhorn, Simon Ngigi, says the publishing firm will spend a further Sh50 million every year to market the digital brands.

“What we are going to see is increased profitability because the digital books are about 50 percent of the hard copy price, and then there are no distribution costs. You can buy rights to read a book for a day, you can read a certain section of the dictionary for a week and therefore we can get people in their millions,” Ngigi told Capital FM Business.

Ngigi says the new digital platform will also see an increased reading culture with books readily available for everyone to read.

“E-Learning platforms have made it fun to read. Kids would rather watch TV (than read a book) but actually look at our E-Learning platforms. Because it is animated, it has sounds and exercises. These are some of the innovations that we are working on. We re-purpose our books into movies so that it also gets the message across,” he explained.

Longhorn is looking at riding on the ICT Integration in Primary Education (Digital Literacy project) to grow demand for its digital products.

The main aim of the project will be to align integration of ICT into teaching and learning for standard one pupils in primary schools.

The components of this project include: Improvement of ICT infrastructure, Development of digital content, capacity building of the teachers and procurement of ICT devices.

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Over 20, 000 pupils in the country currently have tablets distributed by students.

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