The digital revolution is radically transforming how ordinary Africans access and use information. The old (media) gatekeepers are falling and new grassroots voices are driving public discourse. Media that want to survive understand that their  role is changing, from being the ‘voice of authority’, to being a civic watchdog that helps citizens sift fact from fiction in the firehose of free content.

Over 850 million Africans have mobile phones, with 340 million Africans are on the internet, and 127 million Africans are on Facebook.

These numbers grow exponentially every year.

The way that Africans get their news and civic information has changed fundamentally. They are no longer limited to what local publishers or even government want them to know. Legacy media and new upstarts alike are scrambling to reinvent themselves as Africa’s media ecosystem evolves.

Code for Africa, CFI and World Bank have partnered to help these early pioneers leapfrog challenges and build teams, so that they are better positioned to turn their ideas into real-world civic media products.

The partnership has focused on a series of precursor digital bootcamps and hackathons, in both French and English, to expose pioneers to the world’s best technologies and sharpest industry strategists. The innovateAFRICA / AFRIQUEinnovation programme has to date facilitated brainstorming events in the following countries:

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innovateAFRICA’s partners have  facilitated brainstorming events in: Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo (Brazzaville), Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia Uganda.

The 2,400 participants at the bootcamps or hackathons received help finding the right technologists and/or journalists to develop their ideas. They also received hard-hitting expert feedback about the merits of their ideas, with advice on how to strengthen their approach. The best 20 projects at the events won additional mentorship and support, to help develop early prototypes for submission to innovateAFRICA.

CLICK HEREto visit the photo gallery for the events.

Over 2,800 people participated in the MOOC, with the first phase of the course comprised of lessons, while the second invited participants to collaborate on joint projects. CFI is giving 20 of the best teams intensive online support and guidance, and will bring these projects together for two ‘acceleration’ workshops in Dakar (Senegal) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast) just before innovateAFRICA’s application deadline.

The MOOC and its support materials can be accessed here:

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innovateAFRICA continues to host meetups, with support from the World Bank, to help aspiring digital pioneers refine their ideas and build their teams. The meetups include physical meetings, as well as regular Google Hangouts to answer questions from applicants. Join our social media community to get alerts for the next event or Hangout.


The outreach campaign was made possible with support from the following partners:


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Our Mission

To support digital innovation and experimentation that seeks to empower citizens by improving the quality and impact of African civic journalism by using new digital tools and techniques for ‘making’ news, along with new ways for audiences to engage with news, and new models for civic media organisations to sustain themselves.