I have been waiting with great excitement for August to come, and not just because I am eager to share with you this edition of the African Business Journal. This month marks the next stage of what I think is an energizing idea. The African Media Initiative is hosting a unique competition they have called the African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC).
This challenge invites innovators from all across our great continent to submit bold ideas. The ANIC aims to support “new media experimentation and digital news startups” in a variety of fields from data-driven journalism and investigative reporting to newsroom management, audience engagement, digital convergence and media business models. The winners of the challenge will receive grants ranging from $12,500 to $100,000.
When all is done, $1 million in prizes will be given away. The submissions are now in the judging phase, and I cannot wait to see what the judges come up with on August 10.
Whatever comes forward, I am thrilled that this project is taking place. And the reason for that is very simple: it is yet another arena where Africa is representing itself. For decades, the international image of Africa has not been shaped by Africans. The ANIC is a great opportunity for us to take ownership of that image.
In this magazine, Eki Maria’s column tells us how to construct and maintain a strong personal image in business. Sharifah Issaka writes about the growing interest in social media, particularly in Ghana, and the exciting possibilities this holds for us. Ben McCafferty takes us through the success of mobile internet in Africa.
Across the continent, there is a significant movement afoot to take the lead on crafting the African image and projecting it to the world. How can you not get excited?