Africans have spent more than 4 million hours reading books on their mobile phones in 2018, a study by Opera and Worldreader has revealed ahead of the International Literacy Day on September 8.

The study also reveals that a majority of readers prefer books related to love and romance, especially those that come from local authors and publishers.

Opera and Worldreader, a global leader in digital reading programs, partnered in 2015 with the aim of bringing free e-books to millions of mobile users in Africa through Opera Mini, the leading mobile browser in data compression.

“We are very happy to contribute to literacy in Africa with our Opera Mini browser as we give mobile users access to Worldreader’s vast library,” said Jan Standal, VP of Product Marketing and Communications at Opera.

There were more than 444 million unique mobile subscribers and 250 million smartphone users in Sub Saharan Africa, as per the latest report by Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA).

Women frequent readers

This represents a big opportunity to bring reading to millions in the region through technology.

“Our partnership with Opera Mini is a perfect match, with Opera browser being the number one choice for mobile users across Africa, it provides an incredible opportunity to get people reading," said Colin Mcelwee, Co-Founder at Worldreader.

A study conducted by Worldreader showed that 65 per cent of mobile readers in Africa are men while 35 per cent are women.

However, women tend to spend 11.5 minutes reading on average while men read 6.5 minutes per session, making women more frequent readers.

Here is a list of the most read books in Worldreader and Opera Mini in 2018: