The AKU GSMC Media Innovation Centre Innovators-in-Residence Program 2020 for East African Media Startups ($20,000 Grant)

Application Deadline:Monday, October 12, 2020 

The AKU GSMC Media Innovation Centre, together with its partners DW Akademie, Media Challenge Initiative and Tanzania’s Media Foundation are looking for the brightest 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.

The three winning teams, one from each of the participating countries, will join us for a period of 12 months and receive the following benefits to turn their ideas into successful products.

  • Grant Funding of up to $20,000 .
  • Monthly stipend of $1,000 per team.
  • A physical space in your 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.     
  • Expert coaching and mentorship based on the innovator’s needs as well as high-quality training by experienced professionals drawn from journalism and business. 
  • Become a lifetime member of our young and growing community of journalism and media innovators.


  • The AKU GSMC Media Innovation Centre are interested in supporting pre-formed teams of journalists, storytellers, visual artists, data analytics specialists, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, cartoonists, illustrators, coders, programmers and/or animators who will work as a team to create viable solutions to the pressing challenges of the East African media landscape.

The projects can range within the following media challenges, but we are open to any other exciting ideas. Feel free to surprise us!  

  • Community-based or community targeted journalism: Community-based media (radio organizations and news sites) that cover critical societal issues at a grassroots level. Journalists working in rural areas in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are highly encouraged to apply. We want to support ideas that help us answer the following question: How can tailor our community journalism to be more relevant to our local audiences?
  • Youth-targeted journalism: Innovations and start-ups that are producing or intend to produce journalistic content that targets young people. Innovations that address the issues of East African youth and package the content in digital formats that resonate with the youth. We want to answer this question: How can we engage young audiences and local communities?
  • Fact-checking: Innovations that will assist journalists and storytellers to address misinformation and disinformation in East Africa. We are open to projects that answer the following question: How can we address misinformation and disinformation? 
  • Digital journalism: 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. We are looking for innovative projects that would answer the following question: How can we create meaningful storytelling using new digital tools and methods? 
  • Documentaries or ‘alternative media’: Innovations that focus on retelling journalism in unconventional ways such as documentaries, docu​-series and limited series. We would like to know: How can information be transferred in an engaging and thought-provoking manner?

Eligibility Requirements

  • Media innovators from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Journalists and innovators based in either urban or rural areas are eligible to apply.
  • Innovators working in pre-formed teams. Innovators can only apply in teams of 2-5 members. 
  • Projects in any East African language are welcome to apply.
  • Projects that address journalism and media challenges other than storytelling are welcome. Apps and projects that support journalists in their work are also invited to apply.  
  • Participants must be above the age of 18 years.

 To see projects that we have previously supported, see  or check out their Twitter (@Debunkdotmedia) and YouTube Channel (Debunk Media). 

Candidates will be shortlisted and interviewed by a selection committee and a panel of independent judges. 

If interested, please submit your application online here 

​Deadline for applications is Monday, October 12, 2020 

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the AKU GSMC Media Innovation Centre Innovators-in-Residence Program 2020



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