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SPOTIFY LAUNCHES $100,000 FUND FOR AFRICAN PODCASTERS
African podcasters are eating good.
Streaming platform Spotify has invested $100,000 into the African podcast scene. The platform announced a new grant called the Africa Podcast Fund which is aimed at supporting up-and-coming podcasters across the continent. This fund has been offered to 13 podcasts from the five countries on the continent with the largest listenerships(and yes, this is a word): Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, and Ghana. Some of the selected podcasts include Sincerely Accra, Convos and Cocktails, I Said What I Said, and Nipe Story.
This grant comes at a time when podcasting in Africa is on the rise. Young people on the continent are increasingly using podcasts to tell their stories, spark conversation, address societal issues and build communities. This paper—titled Podcasts and new orality in the African mediascape—explores how podcasts plug into the narrative storytelling that is common in African cultures, making them resonate even more.
Despite the progress, podcasters on the continent face a lot of challenges; the most significant being lack of funds. According to this article by TechCabal, “Advertising revenue from sponsors is not the same in Africa as in the rest of the world, because Africa receives less than 1% of the global ad spend. Per Insider Intelligence, global ad spend last year was $780 billion while ad spend in Africa was an estimated $5.11 billion. This minuscule ad spend is split across different media platforms in Africa, with TV and radio attracting a larger share of the audience and ad spend.”
The $100,000 fund aims to boost these podcast creators through financial grants, workshops and networking opportunities. The fund will be administered by Africa Podfest, a Kenyan-based company that is building a sustainable and inclusive podcasting industry across Africa.
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Binance, a leading cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure provider, has been on a mission to educate Africa.
The company has toured countries, established learning hubs, and partnered with multiple skill empowerment players. Its plan—to drive the mass adoption of web3in Africa today—relies on Africans saying yes to blockchain technology.
The partnership between Binance and Utiva will help educate 50,000 youths (ages 18–35) from 19 African countries by providing them access to an e-learning platform for 12 months.
The training, which will run on weekends, will comprise virtual workshops where students will learn tech skills and access virtual mentoring. As part of the program, 1000 participants will be awarded the Binance Charity scholarship to learn top technology skills at Utiva.
According to Binance, this collaboration with Utiva will build a path for economic prosperity for Africa and open the continent to numerous job opportunities in the tech and web3 space.
A VENTURE FUND “MADE IN AFRICA”
The Madica team
This year, African startups raised $4 billion in the first three quarters of the year.
Sounds like a lot, right? In the grand scheme, it’s not. It represents less than 2% of the $361 billion raised globally within the same timeframe.
Access to funding and a support network remains some of the biggest challenges faced by African founders.
To remedy this, Flourish Ventures, a global venture capital firm, has announced the launch of Madica, a sector-agnostic investment programme for pre-seed-stage technology companies in Africa.
With its name derived from “Made in Africa”, the fund has set aside $6 million to back 25–30 African entrepreneurs with up to $200,000 each, and an equal amount for multi-year programmatic support.
A central element of the programme will be a carefully curated panel of seasoned African operators who will mentor Madica founders. The operators include Isis Nyong’o, the Asphalt & Ink partner; Idris Saliu, Ceviant Finance co-founder, and Wendy Hoffman, the Capital Legal Counsel at The Delta.
Madica will prioritise companies led by local founders, women, and those focused on frontier sectors to shore up gaps in funding on the continent. To be eligible for the program, start-ups must have a minimum viable product, founders who are engaged full time and must have received little or no institutional funding. Eligible founders can apply through Madica’s website or connect with Madica at the AfriLabs Annual Gath.
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AfriLabs and Make-IT in Africa are set to foster intra-Africa collaboration, connectivity, and innovation at the 2022 AfriLabs Annual Gathering (AAG).
The 2022 AAG, with the theme “Intra-Africa Connectivity, Collaboration and Innovation,” will be held from October 26 to 28 at CIELA Resort and Spa, Ngwerere Road, Bonanza Estate, Lusaka, Zambia.
This year’s event will have sessions featuring speakers like Felix Mutati, the Zambian minister of technology and science; Rebecca Enonchong, founder and CEO of AppsTech; and Prudence Nonkululeko, the director of gender and youth division at the African Union Commission.
The Next Wave: How will the US-China tech war affect Africa’s digital ecosystem?
Applications are open for the UK Research and Innovation African Research Leaders’ Programme. Talented researchers in sub-Saharan Africa leading quality health research in the region can apply to get up to £750,000 in funding. Apply by December 1.
The Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme and the Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique of Nairobi are offering a three-month long fellowship in France for postdoc researchers from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Eastern Congo (Kivu) who have presented their thesis from 2017. Laureates will receive a monthly stipend of €1,600 at the start of each month. Apply by December 9.
If your startup or innovation is focused on climate-smart agriculture practices, apply to the THRIVE|Shell Climate-Smart Agriculture Challenge for a chance to win $100,000, a spot in a prestigious accelerator, publicity and more. Apply by December 11.
Telecel Group’s African Startup Initiative Program is now open for applications. The 10 selected startups will receive €15,000 in cash each and benefits valued at more than €500,000, including credits from AWS, Google Cloud Services, Hubspot, and more. Apply by November 11.
Applications are now open for Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp. The immersive virtual camp will give founders and developers from underrepresented communities mentorship, technical support and access to the alumni network. Apply by December 5.
If you have a business in the agricultural sector, apply to the African Development Bank’s AgriPitch competition—a 2-week virtual program—-to get business mentorship and win access to a grant pool of $140,000. Apply by November 4th.
Applications are open for the Association of Commonwealth Universities Emerging Career Conference Grants. There are about 25-40 grants available to emerging researchers and university teachers who need funding to attend virtual or physical conferences. Apply by November 28.
African Research Leaders 2023 is calling for funding applications from African medical researchers who have completed a PhD and need the support of £750,000 over the course of five years. Apply by December 1st.