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The digital revolution is radically transforming how information is accessed. All around the world we are witnessing an explosion of websites, blogs, and radio and television programmes online. Africa has more than 300 million Internet users, 53 million Facebook users and 650 million mobile phone users. A new media ecosystem is emerging, and with it fantastic opportunities for newly democratising countries to access freer, more diverse information. In view of this development, CFI and Code For Africa have joined forces to launch Innovate Africa. The aim of this project is to help a new generation of African media professionals to create and develop innovative information products and services in line with advances in technology and usage and the expectations of the continent's citizens.

Innovate Africa will also help journalists and web developers with innovative ideas to compile, process and distribute information in the era of the Internet, mobile phones, social networks, data journalism and all the new techniques that are shaking up the media ecosystem in Africa. The project is designed to enhance the quality and impact of online African journalism and expand its audience using economic models that encourage independent work.

A MOOC designed to foster the emergence of innovative projects

CFI and Code For Africa will firstly organise a series of 6 hackathons and 6 data bootcamps on the continent to bring together local journalists and web developers. The first hackathon is scheduled for 17–19 April in Abidjan.
At the same time, Innovate Africa will offer a MOOC (massive open online course)-type online training course centred on two parallel fields of study: one for web journalists and the other for IT developers. The aim is for as many young African web professionals as possible to be able to submit an innovative project to the Innovate Africa panel by the end of the course through the support of a remote/online mentoring system.

One million dollars mobilised in support of the projects

After an initial continent-wide selection procedure, the candidates with the best projects will take part in a fast-track training programme led by international mentors. Following a final selection phase, the most promising projects will receive funding and take a share of an overall pot of one million dollars (10,000 to 100,000 dollars per project).

Organisation of hackathons

These events give web application developers the opportunity to set up teams around project leads with the aim of creating a prototype application within a few hours.
Abidjan: 17/19 April 2015
Dakar (Senegal), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Douala (Cameroon), Tunis (Tunisia), Casablanca (Morocco).

List of d|Bootcamps

Data bootcamps are workshops that focus on the use of data. Web application developers will consolidate the prototype application.
Abuja (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Johannesburg (South Africa), Kampala (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya).

Innovate Africa, a project by:

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In partnership with:

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About CFI

CFI is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development's media cooperation agency. It is responsible for coordinating and leading France's media development assistance policy in developing countries. CFI supports public and private media-sector stakeholders (TV, radio, print media, online media) in strengthening the modernisation and democratisation processes that France is seeking to uphold. CFI is currently involved in around thirty projects that fall within four major programmes: media and pluralism, media and enterprise, media and development, and media and human resources.

About Code For Africa

Code For Africa is the largest data journalism and citizen technology programme in Africa, with a network of CitizenLabs spanning the entire continent in support of the media's digital experiments and transformations, newsrooms and civil society organisations. In conjunction with these technology labs, Code For Africa conducts digital scholarship and training programmes in a bid to help the African media construct the digital infrastructure and ecosystem that it vitally needs. Code For Africa also provides digital pioneer journalists with basic financial support through the Innovate Africa and Impact Africa programmes and the Code For Africa Sandbox fund.

Press contacts

CFI – Julien Gueit – Tel : 01 40 62 32 64 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Code For Africa – Antoine Laurent – Tel. : 06 79 25 53 78 – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.