Thursday 10th September 2020: The Aga Khan University (AKU) Media Innovation Center has announced a Ksh 6 million grant in support of three winning ideas across East Africa. Three start-ups from each East African team will have access to a Ksh 2 Million start-up funding to develop their ideas.
Speaking at the innovation centre, Ms Njoki Chege, Director, Innovation Centre noted that this year’s call will for the first time target media innovators within and outside Kenya.
“We are happy to announce our second call for applications for our Innovators-In-Residence program that will run until 2021. Together with our partners DW Akademie, Media Challenge Initiative and Tanzania Media Foundation, we are looking to support three great media ideas from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to join the 2020 Innovators-in-Residence program” noted Njoki
The innovators-in-residence program is a 12-month incubation and accelerator program that provides mentorship, training and coaching to selected media innovators in East Africa. The innovators will not only benefit from a grant of $20,000 (Ksh 2 Million) per team, but also access a shared working space in their home countries as well as expert coaching, training and mentorship. The teams will also be part of a larger media innovation community in East Africa. This project is fully funded by the German Development Bank (KfW).
Aga Khan University Vice Provost East Africa, Dr. Alex Awiti, noted the grant couldn’t have come at a better time particularly as COVID-19 continues to accelerate the digital disruption of the media industry.
“This initiative is a boost for young media entrepreneurs looking to grow their media start-ups. We hope that our efforts will go a long way in pushing for media viability across East Africa,” adds Dr. Awiti.
The media start-ups targeted include community-based media (radio organisations and news sites) that cover critical societal issues at a grassroots level and and start-ups producing or intend to produce journalistic content that targets young people. Further, innovations that will assist journalists and storytellers to address misinformation and disinformation in East Africa are also encouraged to apply.
Other innovations targeted include startups that deliver high-quality journalism told and packaged in exciting digital-based storytelling formats such as graphics, podcasts, video and other visual forms of storytelling and innovations that focus on retelling journalism in unconventional ways such as documentaries, docu-series and limited series.
Interested applicants can apply through www.aku.edu/gsmc before the 12th of October 2020.
Aga Khan University (AKU) is a private, autonomous and self-governing international university, with 13 teaching sites in 6 countries over three continents (www.aku.edu). An integral part of the Aga Khan Development Network (www.akdn.org), AKU provides higher education in several disciplines, carries out research pertinent to the countries and operates 7 hospitals, over 325 outreach clinics, all at international standards. AKU was chartered in 1983 and has nearly 2,500 students and 14,000 staff. As an international institution, AKU operates on the core principles of quality, local relevance, impact and access
The Media Innovation Centre is fully funded by the German Development Bank (KfW Entwicklungsbank) within the context of the Media Futures East Africa (MFEA) project. The key objective of MFEA is to strengthen the long-term viability of quality media in East Africa, making a demonstrable contribution to the quality of and access to media in East Africa.
DW Akademie is part of Deutsche Welle. As a strategic partner of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, DW Akademie carries out media development projects that strengthen the human right of freedom of opinion and promote free access to information. They enable individuals to form their own opinions based on reliable facts and encourage people to take part in public debates and defend their opinions. This is how they can actively participate in societal developments and improve their living conditions.
Tanzania Media Foundation
Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) is a Tanzanian media development organisation whose 2020 to 2023 priorities focus on providing the media sector in Tanzania with technical support, capacity-building, research and innovation around two core themes – promoting media for public good and viable media ecosystems. TMF is currently working with DW Akademie to strengthen media viability in Tanzania.
The Media Challenge Initiative
The Media Challenge Initiative is a youth-driven nonprofit based in Kampala, Uganda dedicated to building the next generation of journalists in Uganda and Africa who are skilled in knowledge and solutions-based journalism. MCI envisions an empowered generation of critical journalists who advance positive development and social change through their journalism
That’s why I think today is such a great space for us to sit back and reflect on the questions that could help us shape the kind of journalism that we want to see in our local and global community.
The report specifically analysed eight major variables which include: newsroom structure and resources, media ownership and business models, organisational capacity, innovation culture, journalism culture, financial trends and results, content quality and COVID-19.
Three media startups have graduated from the Innovators-in-Residence program when they pitched their ideas in a ‘demo day’ at the Media Challenge Initiative Hub in Uganda
The partnership will also ensure that local content is curated and distributed to better optimize the product and meet the needs of Kenyan online users.
The three-day event, held simultaneously in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, was crucial in taking the teams through the necessary dos and don’ts as well as introduce coaches, trainers and mentors that will walk with them through the programme and curriculum.
Our new talk series, #ConversationsAtMiC, seeks to explore and tackle issues, challenges, and opportunities within the media startup industry. The series aims to invite guests who would empower media startups to grow and develop further.
The Media Innovation Centre analyzed the applications to demonstrate the need for Media Innovation support in the region and a call to organisations, governments, and philanthropists to fund media start-ups in East Africa through grants.
Other than the grant, we saw it best to provide a vast set of trainings that will equip the founders with the necessary knowledge and skills to run their business.
The Media Innovation Centre (MiC) has today begun sifting through the 250 applications submitted for the 2020/2021 Innovators-In-Residence (IiR) program advertised early September.
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The Aga Khan University (AKU) Media Innovation Center hosted interested media practitioners and individuals for a 3 day IP in Media and Journalism boot camp.