Category Archives: Media in Kenya

Whats’s Next In Media?

A forum titled #whatsnextmedia was organized by Nest at the Aga Khan Graduate School of Media and Communications, in Nairobi yesterday. The first panel had Dennis Itumbi, Owaahh, Gaddo and Carole Kimutai. There was some nice chats about the current state of media, but it all came down to – what’s next in in media? WhatsNextMedia panel

Carole:

  •  Tuko produces viral content as Kenyans want short precise news delivered daily
  • They have to monetize continue – and they have just started to scratch the surface. Their sister site in Nigeria has 1 million views daily.
  • A new website has give answers, as there’s too much content out there. People check ma3route every day as it gives enables them to make  decisions like which road to drive on.
  • Legacy media need to understand their audiences.  Readers wants smarter delivery e.g. her Qz.com news app talks to her about the news they deliver.
  • Young people are less informed and can’t answer simple questions. They don’t read, but love gossip – and they now have a gossip page that is very popular.

Gaddo:  

  • As a cartoonist, he has benefited from the freedom of media and internet in Kenya
  • Buni (producers of the XYZ show) contracts state that media owners cannot interfere with  the program’s content.
  • He;s worried that our brains can only process 140 characters – and it takes a lot of expertise to do good, short content
  • We should discuss media ownership in Kenya. The media is owned by the political elite and crooked people.

Dennis: 

  • The Kenyan president has been an observer of his online accounts, but in the next financial year (from June 30, 2016), that will change and he will become more interactive on his personal (ukenyatta) and official (presidentke) accounts.
  • It’s been a struggle to upgrade, secure, and improve government websites (and emails) with limited budgets but that continues. More online interactions brings improvement of government services e.g. internships at NITA
  • He’s fought to get jobs for bloggers and digital strategists and there will be many more for independent-minded  bloggers who can articulate and sell the Jubilee government agenda
  • They have a digital verification hub at State House to confirm and respond to negative media stories.

Owaahh:  

  • Niches – there is no mainstream audience, you need to write for specific people
  • You can’t make content for revenue, and you don’t need 1 million readers. James Murua blog is very big in the literature community in Nigeria, even though not many Kenyans know it. And when you have a niche, you can monetize it.

Others :

  • ghlaflarization of media – other newspapers and media are adding more gossip content, and have click bait headlines to imitate Ghafla that gets 1-2 million visitors per month
  • There are about 8 million whatsapp users in Kenya – more than facebook &  twitter combined, and it’s a  powerful channel for exchange of information – CEO of @ongair

M-Kopa Launches Solar TV

Wednesday had M-Kopa launching a solar TV product & service in Nairobi.  The 16-inch solar, flat screen, digital TV has  26 free channels and can be paid for at a cost of Kshs 50 per day, that can be spread out over two years. mkopa solar TV launch

3-year old M-Kopa, which has over 300,000 customers, and targets to reach 1 million by the end of 2017, uses Safaricom’s M-Pesa to spread out the cost of their solar home equipment to as little as Kshs 40 per day to light homes, and charge phones and radios, effectively extending the hours that some businesses can operate. M-Kopa CEO,  Jesse, said their goal is to be below the Kshs 50 per day that rural Kenyan homes spend on kerosene/paraffin.

The company, which is also in Uganda and Tanzania, will for now only have the TV’s sold in Kenya and plans to move a few thousand units every month. Current M-Kopa customers, with good repayment records, will get calls from the sales team, and there will be excellent after sales service for the TV devices that are ready out-of-the-box. The TV is designed to provide homes with 4 hours minimum of TV  viewing per day even if it’s rainy or cloudy.

mkopa solar tvThe TV components that M-Kopa uses are sourced in China, while the solar panels are now manufactured in Naivasha, Kenya, as the opportunity to do such manufacturing improved after the government removed an import tax on energy components.

The TV is available in two ways: (i) As a “M-KOPA + TV” upgrade pack for existing M-KOPA customers or (ii) as a larger “M-KOPA 400” 20W home solar system with TV for new customers  Both products made affordable by convenient daily payment plans over M-pesa. 

$1 = Kshs 102

Dstv Pricing in Kenya

This week saw satellite TV provide Multichoice Kenya increase the price of their DSTV satellite TV subscription service, with the top (premium) package now going to cost Ksh 9,400 (~$92) per month from October – an increase of almost 15%. This has since been debated on several fronts, one of which was a cost comparison with South Africa pricing where the company is based.

WGKantai dstv

 Another was done  in terms of what paying for TV means compared to other real life costs like paying for housemaids.

In an interview on the price change, Multichoice Africa CEO Tim Jacobs cited several factors behind the increase including Kenya’s shilling which has depreciated 15% this year against the US dollar in which they buy most of their programming such as the (extremely popular) English Premier League (EPL) who’s rights were hiked 70% in the new deal signed earlier this year.

The price increase also sparked a local consumer lobby to pursue a boycott and petition and in past years, a similar dstv cost increase was debated in Kenya’s parliament. Back in April 2010, one MP asked if Kenya’s national broadcaster – KBC, who own 40% of Multichoice Kenya would consider waiving their profit so that more Kenyans could afford to watch the 2010 World Cup .

dstv maid

This may be the most significant sports television moment in Kenya since  GTV went bust after a short period of outspending dstv in the race to televise top sports events.

The new dstv cost that has a figure close to five digits per month seems to be a tipping point with many subscribers now saying that the cost is simply too much and that they plan to downgrade their subscription to a cheaper one or switch to another company.

Rival, Zuku (of the Wananchi Group) has since responded to the dstv increase with an enhancement of their channel package and offering their viewers more programming, at no extra cost, by adding as many as 19 new channels such as Nat Geo Gold, Fox Sports 2, BET, Discovery Science, IConcerts, TLC, Fox News, FX , Bloomberg, E!, Sky News and Euronews.dstv multichoice

It’s not clear how many of the 100,000-160,000 dstv subscribers in Kenya are on the premium package, but it’s clear that many of those that do, subscribe to it for the sports packages (which are exclusive to the premium tier), and also that many of the same premium dstv subscribers do enjoy watching their favorite sports teams and players with their friends and fellow fans in sports pubs, and not at home where they are paying for the sports (and face many distractions!).

Idea Exchange: ALN, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, MAVC, Research, Rhodes, World Bank, YALI opportunities

Acumen: regional fellows program is a one-year, fully funded leadership development program designed to equip East Africa, India and Pakistan’s next generation of social leaders with the tools needed to unlock their full potential and drive positive change. Applications for East Africa close on July 27.

Africa Business Fellowship: will  match young American business professionals with paid 6-month placements in African companies.

African Fact-Checking Awards: organized by Africa Check and the AFP Foundation, these are the only awards that honour journalism by media based in Africa that expose misleading claims made by public figures and institutions. Eligible entries must be original pieces of fact-checking journalism first published or broadcast between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2015, by a media house based in Africa – in print or online, broadcast on the radio or television or published in a blog. Winner will receive a cash prize of €2000 and the two runners-up a prize of €1000 each.

Africa Leadership Network: apply to join hundreds of Africa’s most influential leaders at the  sixth annual ALN gathering which will be held in Morocco from November 3 to 7, 2015. . Early bird discounts are offered, and for the first  time, select non-ALN members will be eligible to attend #ALN2015.

Ampion: Venture Bus Africa Incubation Road Trip is a 7-day road trip across the continent that aims to take up to 200 participants on five buses in Morocco, Tunisia and Western, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa regions. Apply now for the East Africa group which has e-health, and governance themes for a trip planned 22 – 28 Oct.  2015.

Aspiring Entrepreneurs Program: targets 30 promising and aspiring entrepreneurs between ages 18 – 35 to join the program, in which they will get the opportunity to start their own business with grants approaching one million Naira (~$5,025). Apply by 30 July.

BAKE/ Mzalendo:  Political blogging workshop aims to help bloggers improve their  writing or blogging skills on any of the following topics: parliamentary business, devolution and county Assemblies work, data journalism and constitutional Implementation? There are 30 slots, and the deadline is 19 July.

Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa: (BMIA) is a prestigious pan-African executive training program that’s been developed for mid-career journalists, financial professionals with an interest in financial journalism; government professionals, development practitioners and civil society professionals.  Apply for the this fully funded, free program worth $15,000 for sessions at leading universities in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

British Institute in Eastern Africa: (BIEA) has research funding for projects in the areas of spending time, everyday states, connections & disconnections, bio-cultural frontiers, and land, heritage & memory. Deadline is 1 August.

Commonwealth Writers: call for writers  is seeking commission correspondents in the different regions of the Commonwealth and also writers for longer pieces. Dealing is July 27.

Eisenhower Fellowships: seeks a diverse mix of applicants from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe in a wide range of professional sectors to tackle big challenges in the future. Deadline is October 16.

Traveling to Kenya? From 1 September all visitor visas will be applied for online at an eCitizen website with payments made via debit or credit card and a 2 (working) day processing time.

Kiswahili Kshs 1 million (~$10,000) literary award is the Tuzo ya Fasihi ya Ubunifu Kiswahili Literary Award which will see will see winners eligible to win up to Kshs 1,000,000 and be published in Kenya by Spotlight Publishers and translated in France. Submit manuscripts of novels written in Kiswahili by 15 September.

Making All Voices Count: (MAVC) has grant funding for practitioner research & learning (up to £25,000 for projects, of minimum of 3 – 12 months) and for research (up to £75,000 for research projects of 3 – 18 months)

– Also there’s a MAVC #Tech4CitizenVoice competition in South Africa to find local innovators with early-stage tech governance projects that the programme could potentially incubate and fund. Deadline is 10 August.

The Mobile Application Challenge: (MAC) has an African Tech Challenge that comes with  a $5,000 first prize  (plus free access to Gearbox incubator for 6-months), $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third place during which the final 10 contestants will have the opportunity to build the mobile app and demo the results in front of a judging panel. Apply by the 18 July deadline.The aim is to help Kenyan youth get technical skills in manufacturing that will help them in future to engage in entrepreneurship and in getting quality jobs. This year, there are two competitions (Technical Challenge and Mobile App Challenge) with cash prizes amounting to $10,000 for the Technical Challenge’s top six teams and $ 8,000 as cash prize for the top three individual winners of the Mobile App Challenge.

Rhodes: scholarships fully fund and support post-graduate study at Oxford University  for scholars from 32 counties, with 2 places for Kenyans in 2016. Application deadline is 31 August.

World Bank:  Young Professionals Program has been the preeminent program preparing global development leaders. The application for the 2016 group runs through July 31, 2015.The World Bank also has an ongoing  recruitment drive for African nationals that aims to increase the number of Sub Saharan Africans in its work force. The application deadline is August 31.

YALI East Africa: apply to join the YALI regional leadership center East Africa, which is based in Nairobi and has three program tracks; business & entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management with a note that applicants from Eritrea can only join either the business & entrepreneurship or the civil leadership ones and applicants from Sudan can only join the civic leadership one.

EDIT

AfricaKnows monthly photo competition is back, with the theme is ”Highways and Road Infrastructure”. Submit your best images that showcase highway construction projects and other road infrastructure for a chance to win cash prizes.

Apply for the Ambassadors to the Internet Governance Forum (João Pessoa, Brazil) as either a First-Time or as a  Returning Ambassador. IGF Ambassadorships are for young Internet Society members who have a strong interest in the issues and themes of the IGF. Applications close on August 2.

Glaxo Smith Kline and Save the Children have launched their 3rd annual $1 million Healthcare Innovation Award which awards healthcare innovations that have helped reduce child deaths in developing countries. Apply  online by September 7.

Graduate trainee at Mabati Rolling Mills can build personal skills and experience in specific functions in preparation for growth into a senior role at the Safal Group in the next five years. Apply by 17 July.

Safaricom have launched the 3rd edition for the Safaricom Appwiz Challenge, a 3-month developer challenge targeting Kenyan innovators in mobile ICT. Since its introductions in 2013, and has since incubated close to 30 tech start-up solutions including Safaricom M-Ledger and Magazine Reel, both of which are now commercially successful and sustainable businesses. The Grand Winner will receive a cash grant of Ksh1.5 million (~$15,000), while the 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner up will receive Kshs.1million and Kshs. 500,000 respectively. The submission period kicks off on 20th July 2015 and closes on 16th August 2015.

Orange have launched the 2015 Orange African Social Venture Prize now in it’s 5th edition to encourage innovative start-up projects that help accelerate development in Africa. The prize awards three projects with grants of 10,000, 15,000 and 25,000 Euros, along with six months of mentorship from Orange, and the first prize will also receive free patent registration in the country of the project’s deployment. Deadline is September 18.

EDIT II

The 5th edition of the CIO100 have been launched and they enables corporate organizations (both MNC’s and SME’s) to nominate and share the various technology innovations that have enabled them to enhance their operations. Deadline is September 30.

International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative will enable six (6) women journalists to travel to the Central African Republic and report on civil society, governance and humanitarian issues. Deadline is August 12

Graça Machel Scholarships for Women is open to nationals andresident in one of the SADC countries: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe – who have good first degrees and are studying or applying to study at a South African university.

The second round of the Safaricom Business Journalism Fellowship (SBJF) Program is now open to full-time editorial employees of newspapers, magazines and broadcast news organisations and freelance journalists who have at least four years’ experience. There are 15 places this year for the eight month, mid-career program that gives business journalists the opportunity to train alongside Kenya’s leading business lecturers and some of the top leading newsmakers in the region.

The International Reporting Project (IRP) has a group reporting trip to Ecuador focusing on health and development issues on October 18-29, 2015. Apply by August 7.

EDIT III

African Business Awards  aim to  recognize individuals and companies driving the continent’s rapidly evolving economy forward. Categories being competed for are (i) African business of the year (ii)  business leader of the year (iii) outstanding woman in business (iv) award for good corporate governance (v)  award for best corporate social responsibility (vi) award for innovation (vii) insurance company & initiative of the year (viii)  African business icon and (ix) lifetime achievement award. Deadline is August 10

African Media Initiative media competition is open to professional journalists and media organizations can apply. The Zimeo excellence in media awards are in gender reporting, youth reporting, maritime economy reporting, business and finance reporting, technology reporting, agriculture and food security reporting, health reporting, education reporting, peace and security reporting, energy reporting, data journalism and climate change reporting. Deadline is Aug. 31.

EDIT IV

Centum Foundation is an initiative is to fund a crop of promising businesses, and within a year,  to turn businesses to a sustainable and successful enterprise.

Disruption By Design Awards 2015 – DXD 2015, is a platform that recognizes and awards local changemakers and innovators. Details here and the deadline is August 28.

Airtel and  Samsung, have partnered to search for the next big app developer from the continent. Deadline for applications is 5 September 2015.

Diplo and the NEPAD Agency invite applications for an 11-week long online training course Internet Governance in Africa which starts on 14 September 2015 and covers fundamental aspects of Internet governance and Internet policy. Applications should be received by 15 August.

Knight-Mozilla Fellowships 2016 present a unique opportunity for people who love to code and who want to influence the future of journalism on the web. Deadline is August 21.

M-PESA Foundation Academy has started the formal applications process for bright, talented but economically disadvantaged students in all 47 counties, from which 2 students per county will join the inaugural class starting in January 2016,.

Hadithi is the Airtel blog that allows people to share exciting ideas and stories on innovative people and out of the box concepts and are seeking people to submit their content for Airtel to publish by sharing their contact details, rate card and at least 3 writing samples.

Jumia Kenya wants to pay you to post status updates on Facebook, Twitter and other sites in Kenya. Launched in January 2015 the Jumia affiliate program has become a cash cow for the social media lovers. Commissions vary depending on the different categories of products one chooses to promote but to a maximum of 11%.

Mining 4 1 is a call for innovations on technology in the Kenya mining sector. The top five innovators will be given a chance to present their ideas before a panel of leading entrepreneurs, industrialists and senior executives from the mining industry at the upcoming ‘Mining 4 I‘ event to be held at the Strathmore Business School. Applications deadline is 20 August.

What other opportunities are there for readers to apply for?

The EastAfrican is the last Newspaper You’ll Wrap Meat In

President Uhuru Kenyatta sometimes jokes about newspapers and the media, and says that newspapers are only good for  wrapping meat in.  This is usually after they publish a story that he disagrees with and which he feels the writes have got all wrong. But the EastAfrican is the last newspapers he, you, or any serious butcher will want to wrap meat in.

The East African is unique and consistently reach in quality content, week after week.  They break many stories, and often run fresh stories that don’t fit in the bigger picture till later. In essence, it’s sometimes like an enhanced blog or tweet, and they park the story there for other media and readers to take on the discussion later.

The newspaper is great for trends because they routinely write on familiar subjects or topics that matter, and that are of interest in all countries. These include mobile money, taxation, customs & trade, agribusiness, food science, immigration and sometime politics in anthem sense that it impacts the economies and business prospects of the countries.  In the current issue you can read about vastly different pre-election situations in Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda. Probably  few people outside Uganda are aware that the country is going to have election for special interest groups in which citizens will vote for their youth and older person representative in August.

They cover more than East Africa, and if a story from further in Africa has local interest angle, such as mining in Zambia, or the impact of oil prices on Angola then this its fit to run.

The EastAfrican has great in-depth pieces from well-known columnists, and from other people who are not household names but still produce great analytic pieces on budgets, politics, and economic trends.  See why Yoweri Museveni, is going to give me a new iPhone.

They are maybe the only newspaper that can tackle in-depth reports. While a daily newspaper will mention highlights of a report that was published, the EastAfrican can delve deeper into it with several pieces, interviews with the authors, researchers and decision-makers involved. You see over many leaders, like the leadership index that compares the performances of African presidents and the African Development Band report on the level of female director representation  at  corporate boards across Africa.

They also pull in a section of special interest stories from other publication like the New York Times. They are self for manager and consultants and you get nice summary s

 They translate their stories into common currencies as the writers recognize that readers may not know what a Rwanda Franc is  versus a Tanzania shilling – so they provide helpful conversions to dollars to help better faster understand the impact. From a dollar base, any reader is mentally able to translate a story into their own familiar currency. They also have the regional indices so you can in an instantly see which are the best, or worst, performing stocks across East Africa over the last week, month,  or year.

Lastly, they have unique advertisements as it’s now clear that if you’re looking for an opportunity, job, contract or specialist that cuts across borders, then The EastAfrican is the place to find it.