DAKAR- Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Senegal turned to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter on Monday complaining that Africans who want to purchase Kindle books are not able to so and are being discriminated against.
Writing on twitter Trudy Stevenson from the smaller MDC faction in Zimbabwe’s coalition government said “I am outraged that Kindle discriminates against African addresses. Strange, because Amazon accepts my money without any problem!!”
Turning to facebook, Stevenson shared an e-mail she sent to Amazon;
“I am a registered Amazon.co.uk customer with my Visa card details held by you. I am unable to purchase Kindle books, for some reason – the message I get is “available only to UK customers. This is extremely frustrating, and people tell me it is because I live in Africa!!”
“If this is indeed the case, I wish to protest most vehemently. Africans are just as literate as people on other continents, and we should have equal access to cheaper reading matter. Please explain to me what is the problem, and suggest a viable solution. Thank you.”
The Amazon Kindle is an e-book reader developed by Amazon.com subsidiary Lab126 which enables users to shop for, download, browse, and read e-books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and other digital media via wireless connectivity.
Nehanda Radio.com made some enquiries and got this response.
“Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk.
Unfortunately at the moment the Kindle and the Kindle Store is only available to UK customers. Publishers grant eBook rights on a country by country basis; as a result at the moment the Kindle content in Amazon.co.uk can only be sold to customers within the UK.
At the moment, customers outside the United Kingdom will need to continue to use the Amazon.com Kindle Store to order a Kindle device or Kindle content. Kindle is available for delivery to over 100 countries from our partner site Amazon.com. To view and place an order, please see this link:
We understand that the situation is frustrating, and we regret that at the moment we can’t provide any further information regarding the UK Kindle Store being available for customers outside the United Kingdom. Any updates in relation to this will be announced in the Amazon.co.uk website.
Strong customer feedback like this helps us continue to improve the service we provide, and we are glad you took time to write to us. I have sent your comments to the business team.
Please feel free to forward further comments and suggestions about our website and the Kindle Store to us. Each suggestion will be read and taken into consideration.
Thanks for your interest in Amazon Kindle.” Nehanda Radio.com