• Table of contents

    • [+]Preliminaries (3)
    • [—]Introduction (4)
    • [+]Latin America (13)
    • [+]Sub-Saharan Africa (9)
    • [+]Arab World (11)
    • [+]Russia (11)
    • [+]India (11)
    • [+]China (9)
    • [+]Conclusions (6)
    • [+]Appendix (1)



A matter of enormous significance

The development of electronic publishing in the South proves therefore to be a topic that is in itself worthy of discussion in global forums. But, more importantly still, it constitutes an absolutely vital issue for developing countries themselves.

On the one hand, according to the observations of the main actors involved, many of the typical obstacles of publishing in countries of the South can be overcome by incorporating digital technology into the book chain. Indeed, if the Internet connection tends to be defective in these regions, then the infrastructure of the book sector – distribution, retail sales, and printing – is even worse. In some cases, then, certain technologies can be employed to help skip the “Gutenberg stage” and work directly in digital form by making use of the equipment already available.

Likewise, the electronic solutions that certain countries of the South have implemented to overcome their problems of content distribution can also serve as a model for others, thus facilitating South–South knowledge and technology transfer. For example, the rich prospects for mobile phones in India, China and South Africa represent a fruitful precedent for the Maghreb and the Middle East.

Lastly, the rapid economic growth experienced by many nations in Latin America, Asia and Africa has increased the funds states have available to them to invest in infrastructure, training and research and development (R&D). Sooner or later, these countries will have to ask themselves what kind of digital publishing highways they must build and they will be faced with two very different options: a) financing the installation of platforms designed in the North; b) investing according to the concrete needs, expectations and potentialities of local authors, readers and entrepreneurs. Whatever the decision of each country may be, the long term impact will be immense.


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