1 September 2016


1 December 2016


20 December 2016


31 January 2017


This innovation challenge focuses on journalism and the news media.

We are looking for disruptive digital ideas to improve the way that news is collected and disseminated.

By digital ideas, we mean tools or strategies that use the Internet, mobile platforms, data-driven journalism, computer-assisted reporting, digitally augmented reality or virtual reality, camera drones or the Internet of Things (sensors), and other electronic means to improve the relevance and impact of news media.

Your ideas should be focused on providing pragmatic solutions to real-world challenges facing Africa’s media.

Your innovation should fall into any of four broad categories: news gathering; storytelling; audience engagement; or the business of news.

Within these categories, we are specifically interested in ideas that seek to achieve one or more of the following goals:


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Strengthen existing media platforms, or harness new digital platforms to engage audiences and transmit news or other journalistic content.


Improve the way news reaches audiences, from traditional circulation / airtime management to newer disruptive ‘cross platform’ channels.


Amplify the usefulness of news by harnessing geo-location, or by improving the immediacy, depth and accuracy of journalistic content.


Enhance the impact and “shelf life” of news by extending its influence and intrinsic value for both audiences and content services.


Deepen media’s understanding of its audiences and markets by improving user analytics, audience profiling and market segmentation.


Boost the media’s resource base by diversifying business models, developing new revenue streams or improving operational efficiencies.


We fund news experiments and digital media startups. This means that we will fund the costs associated with developing, testing and scaling a new digital news venture or product. We will not fund conferences, training workshops, nor the salary or operational costs for existing organisations, nor university administration fees, nor other routine business costs


Winners will receive cash grants of between $12,000 and $100,000 each to kickstart their projects. These grants can serve as collateral for matching or ‘top up’ grants from other donors or investors. Winners may also be offered opportunities to showcase their projects at international conferences or to venture capital funds for further investment.


In addition to seed grants, winners will receive support from Code for Africa’s technology labs, as well as mentorship and one-on-one workshop sessions from some of the world’s leading media strategists, business development experts, and marketing strategists. Winners may also be offered opportunities to pilot their projects in partner newsrooms.

Brainstorming Sessions

Code for Africa and its partners at CFI are running an intensive series of brainstorming workshops and hackathons across the continent to help digital innovators build teams and test their projects against with industry experts.

CFI also offers a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) in French for aspiring news pioneers to help journalists improve their digital literacy and (as a separate course) for technologists to improve their understanding of journalism. However, not everyone can however physically attend a workshop or spend weeks completing a MOOC. innovateAFRICA therefore hosts regular webinars and Q&A sessions on Google Hangout.

Get more information

Keep track of events in your neighbourhood and get alerts for Google Hangouts by joining innovateAFRICA on:


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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.