Media Challenge Initiative (MCI), a youth-driven non-profit building the next generation of journalists in Africa through training, mentorship and experiential peer-to-peer learning has 12th March 2021, launched a media innovation hub known as the MCI Media Hub. The Hub is located on the top floor of Tirupati Mall in Kansanga, Kampala.

With a slogan of ‘Amplifying Media Innovation’, the MCI Media Hub is a collaborative space that will support disruptive innovators with an enabling environment to accelerate ideas and solutions for journalism and media viability in Uganda and East Africa.

Media Challenge Initiative CEO, Abaas Mpindi, said MCI launched the hub due to a core belief in the power of journalism and media innovators.

“At the Media Challenge Initiative, we do what we do because we believe that good journalism makes the world a better place. We also know that this kind of journalism is becoming harder to find. We have seen journalism and the overall media industry struggle to sustain itself due to changing business models and other challenges. We have, therefore, created a home for innovations and solutions addressing the viability of the industry because we are on a mission to nurture and incubate it,” Mpindi said.

The Hub intends to serve this role by providing high-quality media support services at affordable rates including a coworking space, hosting events and dialogues, media trainings, a state-of-the-art radio and TV studio for hire, a shared newsroom, and an ecosystem of media innovators who are intentional about creating solutions to the challenges facing journalism.

The Hub was launched in partnership with DW Akademie (DWA), Aga Khan University-Graduate School of Media and Communications (AKU-GSMC), KfW, and the German Cooperation.

Daniela Leese, Head of Media Development Africa – DW Akademie,  lauded the effort saying, “After two years of collaboration on the Media Futures East Africa Project with AKU – GSMC and KfW, we have now reached our goal to create a home for media innovation and quality journalism in Uganda.” Lawrence Pintak, Dean of the Graduate School of Media and Communications, added, “We’re proud to be partners in the MCI journey of growth in supporting media innovation and the future of journalism in Uganda.”

The Friday event started with the graduation of the 3rd class of Media Challenge Fellows, MCI’s flagship program that trains the top 26 journalism students every year in intensive multimedia skills and solutions-based journalism. Out of the 77 total alumni Media Challenge Fellows, at least 49 are now employed in media-related jobs. 34 of those were connected to their jobs by MCI. MCI alumni are populated in media houses across the country, including NTV, NBS, New Vision, Record TV, UBC, and many others.

Hon. Judith Nabakooba, the Cabinet Minister of ICT & National Guidance, who officiated the graduation event, said, “I promise that, as the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, we shall also find ways of supporting these young innovators and [the Hub] being the first of its kind in Africa, we shall find ways of working with you, probably even to help train some of the government communicators on how to use online methods of communication, but also the fact-checking mechanism of what is being put on the social media spaces, and I believe we will do a lot with you.”

The event also included the awarding of 9 journalism students who produced the best stories in the 2020 Inter-University Media Challenge, an annual training and journalism competition for up to 15 universities of journalism. The winning students reported TV, radio, online and photo stories on how their communities were adapting and innovating during Covid-19.



About the Author


Author ProfileMuonge Silas
Muonge Silas is the communications officer at MCI Hub.

Similar articles


Media Innovation Centre launches report on media innovation and media viability in East Africa

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.


Media Innovation Centre hosts demo day for graduating cohort

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


Media Innovation Centre partners with Mozilla to launch Pocket

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.


Hamasa Media Group: Tanzanian innovators with a solution to organisation management

A team of young, Tanzanian tech-savvy communication professionals is dreaming big. It seeks to usher a new dawn in media business management in Tanzania by optimising employee output 


Enact policies that guarantee education for all

As Form One students settle into a new life in secondary school, this has also been a period of reflection. We have read tear-jerking and heart-warming stories of determined students who overcame many odds to get an education and how well-wishers came together in their aid.


Good journalism does not come cheap

A free and independent press is the cornerstone of any democracy and the foundation of economic success, mostly because through our free press, we’re able to hold the leadership to account.


Three day onboarding programme signals start of residency.

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.


HIGHLIGHTS: MiC meets Tanzania’s media innovators

Started in 2019, the MiC plays a significant role in mainly supporting the next generation of media entrepreneurs in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda through trainings, mentorships and start-up grants to bring about media viability.


How to build and sustain a startup community

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.


How to make journalism love us back

It is time for those in Kenyan media leadership to declare journalists’ mental health an industry-wide crisis. It is a fact that we like to sweep under the rag, but Kenyan journalists need a lot of psychosocial support. 


An analysis of the 2020/2021 Innovators-In-Residence call for applications

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.


AKU Study: News inequalities makes a case for county centric public-funded broadcast media

Put in context, it is safe to argue that the plural media in Kenya could be in the business of reaching the audience and not necessarily serving this audience with public interest, local news.


The Innovators in Residence: 2021 Cohort kick off their residency trainings

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.


Let’s choose to challenge inequalities

Girls must grow up knowing that they can be presidents, engineers, CEOs, and we as a society must learn to be comfortable with women working in traditionally male-dominated professions.


I started a media company in 2019 not to break news, but to unbreak it

We must give context and background to audiences about what the news means to them or what it means to specific groups of people.