Worldreader wins the US Library of Congress 2023 Literacy Award ➤

Disruptive Technology.
Sustainable Solutions.

Digital reading as a cross-sectoral approach to the SDGs

8 May 2019 Crowne Plaza
Nairobi, Kenya

Summit Location

Crowne Plaza Nairobi: Kenya Road, Upper Hill Nairobi KE, Kenya 

For delegates who prefer to access the venue via local transportation systems, Crowne Plaza is in Upper Hill along Kenya Road. From Nairobi CBD, make your way to Kencom Stage along City Hall Way outside Kencom House. Board Bus Route 7C. Request to be dropped at Crowne Plaza. Once you arrive, Kenya Road will be on your left. Walk a distance of about 50 meters and you will see the hotel on your left.

For delegates who prefer to drive to the venue, please be advised that the Kenya Road from Hospital Road that is the KCB entrance leading to the main hotel entrance has been temporarily closed off due to ongoing road construction. Due to this, we advise delegates to access the main hotel entrance on Kenya Road through Kilimanjaro Avenue and the annex entrance through Longonot Road from Kilimanjaro Avenue.

About the Summit

Digital reading is key to sustainability. The Digital Reading Summit offers an exclusive, invitation-only opportunity to connect with Worldreader’s expansive network of prominent partners, as well as non-profit, social enterprise, and public and private sector leaders from across Kenya and the greater region.

Strategic roundtable discussions will investigate the power of digital literacy and digital reading to advance health and wellbeing, education, gender equality, and economic growth –  culminating in a call to action in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The summit offers a unique opportunity to:

  • Network and collaborate with other committed leaders such as Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ben Andoh, Group Head at Ecobank, and Kate James, former Chief Corporate Affairs and Global Marketing Officer at Pearson
  • Contribute your sectoral expertise to achieving the SDGs 3, 4, 5, 8, and 17
  • Seed vital solutions to ensure the prosperity of future generations

Digital Reading and the SDGs

The fastest growing economies are those that invest in human capital. Kenya will have millions of knowledgeable workers, educated consumers, and empowered entrepreneurs, but only if leaders from across sectors partner to invest in digital literacy.

Digital reading improves educational, economic, and health outcomes. It’s a 21st century solution for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals while offering a competitive advantage in an increasingly digital world economy.

Speakers will include:

Ada Mwangola
Director, Social and Political Pillars, Kenya Vision 2030

Dr. Ammit N. Thakker
Executive Chairman, Africa Health Business

Dr. Amarendra Prasad Behera
Joint Director of Central Institute of Educational Technology, Government of India

Dr. Anastasia Mirzoyants-McKnight
Research expert

Ben Andoh
Group Head Internal Control, Ecobank

Bhanu Potta
Founding Partner, Zinger Labs

Charles Mwangi Waituru
VSO’s Africa Policy and Advocacy

Chris Capossela
Microsoft CMO and Executive VP of Consumer Business

Colin McElwee
Co-founder and Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, Worldreader

David Risher
CEO and Co-founder, Worldreader

Esther Kyalo
Advocate of the High Court

Joan Mwachi
Regional Director, East Africa, Worldreader

Kate James
Former Chief Corporate Affairs and Global Marketing Officer, Pearson

Lawrence Njagi
Chairman, Kenya Publisher Association

Mariam Shodeinde
Emerging Market Innovation Delegation Co-founder

Nasikiwa Murimirwa
CAMFED Tanzania

Exec. Director – CAP Youth Empowerment Institute

Nivi Sharma,
COO BRCK, Co-founder eLimu

Okyeame Kwame
Musical Artist and Philanthropist

Dr. Peter Joyce
Senior Advisor, USAID Kenya East Africa Mission

Sejal Shah
Healthcare Executive

Wangari Ireri
Member of the Anasoma review panel

Susan Omanga
CEO and Founder of Exclamation Marketing Ltd.

Agenda – May 8




Opening of the Digital Reading Summit 2019
Location: Chania

Mwihaki Muraguri, Emcee, Principal, Paukwa House
Ms. Joan Mwachi, Regional Director, East Africa, Worldreader
Ms. Sejal Shah, Chair, Worldreader Kenya Board
Mr. David Risher, CEO and Co-founder, Worldreader
Ms. Ada Mwangola, Director, Social and Political Pillars, Kenya Vision 2030
Mr. Joseph Wakaba Mucheru,Cabinet Secretary, Minister of ICT, Kenya


Role of Digital Reading in Achieving SDGs by 2030
Location: Chania

Session Chair:  Ms. Kate James, Former Chief Corporate Affairs and Global Marketing Officer, Pearson

Dr. Amarendra Behera, Joint Director of Central Institute of Educational Technologies (CIET), Government of India
Dr. Amit Thakker, Chairman, Africa Healthcare Federation
Dr. Anastasia Mirzoyants-McKnight, Head of Knowledge and Learning, Well Told Story

10:30- 10:45

Power Reading
Location: Chania

Ms. Sharon Makena and Mr. Brian Mugiira
Students, Kaaga School for the Deaf, Meru, Kenya
Mr. John Kibaara, Teacher and Interpreter, Kaaga School for the Deaf, Meru, Kenya


Setting the Stage for Collective Brain Trust Sessions

Brain Trusts are a rapid design-thinking process mining the collective genius of a room to tackle a significant challenge, question, or opportunity.

10:55- 11:30

Tea Break – Networking


Transfer to Sessions


Brain Trust Session 1: Behavior Change for Social Good – Digital Content and Reading Adoption
Location: Chania

Focus on SDG 4 (Education) & SDG 17 (Partnerships)

Problem Statement: How can we change behavior in support of SDGs 4 and 17 through the development and marketing of high-quality digital content?

Co-Facilitator Names:
Ms. Mariam Olalekan Shodeinde, Claned Group
Ms. Pauline Kiraithe, Talent Gurus


Brain Trust Session 2: Digital Literacy and Reading for Youth Opportunity
Location: Sabaki

Focus on SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth)

Problem Statement: How can we develop and leverage digital content to create greater economic opportunity for youth as outlined in SDGs 5 and 8?

Co-Facilitator Names:
Mr Ndungu Kahihu, Executive Director, CAP Youth Empowerment Institute
Mr. Mwangi Waituru, Africa Regional Policy Advisor, VSO International


Networking Lunch


Power Reading
Location: Sabaki

Ms. Wangari Ireri, member of the ANASOMA Review Panel, Nairobi, Kenya
Mr. Dennis Muiga, member of the ANASOMA Book Club, Nairobi, Kenya


Power Reading
Location: Chania

Mr. Julian Namboozo, Librarian at National Library Uganda
Mr. Peter Balaba, Librarian at Nakaseke, Uganda


Brain Trust Session 3: Positive Gender Transformation through Digital Reading
Location: Sabaki

Focus on SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 17 (Partnerships)

Problem Statement: How can digital content and reading influence gender norms and support transformation within society?

Co-Facilitator Names:
Ms. Nasikiwa Murimirwa, Camfed Tanzania
Ms. Esther Kyalo, Advocate, High Court of Kenya


Brain Trust Session 4: Digital Reading – A Cross-Sectoral Approach for Early Childhood Development
Location: Chania

Focus on SDG 4 (Education) & SDG 17 (Partnerships)

Problem Statement: How can we leverage digital content and reading so that parents, family members, and communities are able to support the cognitive development and school readiness of children?

Co-Facilitator Names:
Mr.Lawrence Njagi, Chair, Kenya Publishers Association
Mr. Bhanu Potta, Worldreader India, Board Member


Tea Break


Building Digital Reading Through the Power of Digital Financing
Location: Chania

Session Chair: Ben Andoh, Group Head Internal Control, Ecobank

Ms. Sue Omanga, Founder/CEO Exclamation Marketing Ltd
Dr. Peter Joyce,  Senior Advisor, Youth and Workforce


Brain Trust Recommendations to Enable SDGs
Location: Chania

A read-out of the four breakout sessions and a call to action.

Moderator:  Ms. Nivi Mukherjee, President of BRCK

17:00 -17:15

Closing Keynote
Location: Chania

Mr. Chris Capossela
Chief Marketing Officer, Microsoft


Closing Remarks
Location: Chania

Mr. Colin McElwee
Co-founder, Worldreader

17:46 -19:30

Prepare for your trip to Kenya


Situated in the eastern coast of Africa and with a population of about 49 million, Kenya is comprised of over 40 different ethnic tribes who have their own distinct languages, but across the country they share a commonality in the languages they speak, Swahili and English.

Kenyan culture is rich and diverse, made up of Kenya traditions and customs, music and dance, arts, and the warmest of hospitality.

“Harambee”, known as one of the national symbols of Kenya is the country motto that means “to pull together”, which speaks of their strong sense of community, and of helping each other in work and shared responsibilities.



To enter Kenya, you’ll need a visa. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport or before you travel. To minimize time spent queuing at the airport, we recommend you get a visa before you travel. You can apply for single-entry and transit visas on the evisas website.



The Kenya Shilling (KES) is the national currency. Banks are generally open from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm Mondays to Fridays, and from 8.00 am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.  International Credit Cards are widely accepted for payment in most hotels, restaurants and shops, particularly Visa, MasterCard and, on a more limited basis, American Express. Exchange bureaus and ATM machines are available throughout the Country and at the Airports. US Dollars, Euros and Sterling Pounds are most accepted and cause least delay. Please check for exchange rates on



The electricity supply in Kenya is 240 volts AC. Sockets are usually 3 pin, and take the 13 amp “square” variety plugs.



Kenya has only one time zone which covers the entire country. East Africa Time (EAT) is the time zone used in Eastern Africa and is 3 hours ahead of UTC (UTC+3).


Transport Services

We have affordable & safe rides in Nairobi from reliable taxi services such as Uber, taxify, easy cab, etc. We recommend that you always confirm driver details and costs before embarking to your destination.



Kenya lies on the equator and thus has a pleasant, tropical climate, with regional variations mostly related to altitude. Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F with a temperate dry wind.


Drinking Water

It is recommended that visitors drink only bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. Hotels and Lodges generally provide bottled water or a thermos flask in your room with safe drinking water.



Taking photographs at airports, of state officials, policemen, state properties, military installations or the national flag is prohibited. Prior to taking photographs of local people, permission should ideally be obtained and in some cases you may be required to offer a tip for those pictures.


Tipping & Porterage

Although hotels and lodges include a service charge, it is customary to tip porters and waiters (USD 2-5 per service rendered) and safari drivers/guides (USD 15-20 per person per day is acceptable).


Liability and Insurance

Participants are advised to take out their own personal travel and health insurance as they would normally do when travelling abroad.


Safety and Security

As in any other destination, normal precautions should be taken. Don’t leave bags or briefcases unattended when inside or outside the session halls. Hotels recommend that you use their safety deposit boxes for cash and valuables. It is also advisable not to walk alone in isolated areas in towns particularly after dark, just as you would do anywhere in the world.


Letter of Invitation

Upon request, the Secretariat of the summit can email a personal invitation to participants. This invitation is meant only to help visitors to obtain a visa. Official letters of invitation designed to help overcome administrative difficulties in certain countries may also be sent on request. If you require an original letter, it is recommended that you send your request well in advance to account for postal delivery times. Requests can be sent via email to



Crown Plaza Hotel

Hotel information:

For bookings please contact:



Radisson Blu Hotel-

Fairview Hotel-

Hillpark Hotel-

Silver Spring Hotel-

Town Lodge-