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 before the 12th of October 2020.

About Us: 

Aga Khan University (AKU) is a private, autonomous and self-governing international university, with 13 teaching sites in 6 countries over three continents ( An integral part of the Aga Khan Development Network (, 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

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