East Africa’s media talent hub, the Aga Khan University (AKU) Media Innovation Center has announced announced a Ksh 6 million grant for three media start-ups in the region, as part of its Innovators-In-Residence program.
The project, funded by KfW as part of the Futures Project, aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship to enhance media viability through a combination of research, training, mentorship, coaching, incubation/acceleration services and knowledge sharing.
Speaking at the innovation centre, Ms Njoki Chege, the Director of the Innovation Center, noted that the project has come right in time when disruptions are threatening the normal life of media.
“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’s Media Foundation, we will be searching for three bright media minds from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to join the 2020 Innovators-in-Residence, a 12-month incubation and accelerator program that provides mentorship, training and coaching to selected media innovators in East Africa,” noted Njoki.
Njoki said further that “the three winning teams, other than the 2-million-shilling grant, will receive a monthly stipend of Ksh 100,000 per team, a physical space in their home country to work and connect with a regional network of game-changers in the media space, access to relevant technology, including audio and video production equipment and expert coaching and mentorship based on the innovator’s needs as well as high-quality training by experienced professionals drawn from journalism and business.”
Vice Provost EA, Dr. Alex Awiti, noted the grant couldn’t have come at a better time when COVID19 had really shaken up the economy and caused heavy unemployment.
“The grant we are offering today is a great push for young media entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their media start-ups. We believe the money, facilities and expertise offered will help them kick start their entrepreneurial journey will be giving them a space to breath and focus their energy on the start-up,” added Alex.
The media start-ups being targeted include community-based media (radio organisations and news sites) that cover critical societal issues at a grassroots level, innovations and start-ups that are producing or intend to produce journalistic content that targets young people, innovations that will assist journalists and storytellers to address misinformation and disinformation in East Africa, innovations that focus on delivering 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.