Category Archives: Rockefeller

Idea Exchange: Agri, Bellagio, GSMA, Stanford

New, and ongoing, opportunities to apply for, including..

EDIT Chivas Regal announced  the first Kenyan edition of Chivas, The Venture, a  $1 million global search to find and support the next generation of social enterprise start-ups. 32 countries across 6 continents are taking part and only the most promising from each country will be selected as a global finalist. It is open to any for-profit-start-up that creates both financial value and a positive impact on the lives of others. Deadline for Kenyan social entrepreneurs to make submission is 30th November 2016. Kenya’s very own WEFARM, a farming information platform came 2nd at last year’s finals, securing $200,000 for their social enterprise.

EDIT Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Executive Training Program: Intake 4 is now open. This prestigious program has been developed for mid-career journalists, financial professionals with an interest in financial journalism; government professionals responsible for public policy, communications and finance portfolios; and development practitioners and civil society professionals with an interest in African development and financial and economic data. The program value is $22, 000 USD, but Bloomberg Philanthropies with support from the Ford Foundation are generously funding each successful candidate on a scholarship basis. Scholarships include tuition, class materials, lunch and refreshments. The deadline for initial applications is 25 November 2016. Applications will be reviewed and places awarded on a first come first served basis. The BMIA Executive Training Program will begin in January 2017 and will be offered in Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi.

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EDIT Stanford SEED, which enables East Africa business owners to lead their regions to greater prosperity. The Seed Transformation is a comprehensive year-long program that includes six months of immersive general-management training in Nairobi, Kenya, led by Stanford GSB faculty and supported by trained local facilitators. It is targeted at founders and senior leaders of for-profit companies who want to grow and scale their companies. Deadline 31 October.

Vote in the OLX Social Media Awards  up to September 22.

TED Fellow: Apply to the TED Fellows program, that aims to find a new class of extraordinary thinkers and doers who are aged 21 to 40. The next cycle is from October 4 to November 13.

 EDIT Also  TEDGlobal is returning to Africa at Arusha in August 2017.

YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa (RLC EA) is merit-based and open to young East African leaders.

EDIT  The Africa Region of the World Bank Group (WBG) is relaunching its fellowship program for Ph.D. students who are Sub-Saharan nationals. The program will increase the diverse workforce that is a priority for the Bank and its clients.

EDIT AIA, one of the world’s largest insurers, has created the AIA Blockchain Challenge, a virtual challenge that concludes with the chance to secure a pilot contract and a sizeable development grant of up to US$50,000.. (in) claims process, customer information and regulation, risk management & treasury efficiency, digital health..Applicable top entries will receive paid pilot opportunities. Submission deadline is November 20 (source)

EDIT  Apply for a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship, as the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is looking for 1,000 African leaders! Applications closes on 26 October. (source)

EDIT Recruiting AkiraChix class of 2017:  Every year for the last 5 years, AkiraChix has the pleasure of welcoming a group of young, hopeful, young girls from all over Kenya for our one-year training program. This program has continued to be offered at no cost to the students with classes in Web Design, Mobile application design, Graphic Design, Hardware design, Life Skills just to mention a few. If you or someone you know is interested in joining next years class please apply

EDIT Apply to join the next MasterCard Start Path Global – #StartPath program.  MasterCard partners with startups from around the world to help scale their businesses. The program enables companies to gain access to MasterCard’s global ecosystem and to break new markets through relationships with MasterCard and our customers. Some key features include: 6 month virtual program (take part from your home location),  2 immersion weeks at different cities and  no upfront equity in exchange for participation. Deadline is October 11.

EDIT  The Chezo Game Jam Competition is here. Chezo Gaming is an initiative to support the creation of games to address local challenges. The competition will take place from the 30th of September 2015 to the 2nd of October 2016. Winning teams (3) will receive a cash award of € 2,000 (US$2,200) and additional mentorship for up-to 3 months. Find out more here.

EDIT  The 5th edition of the  Pillars of Africa celebrates the extra-ordinary achievements of the young people of Africa, and is open for nominations in entrepreneur,  humanitarian, arts & clulture, business icon and sports categories, up to  October 28  (via @pillarsofafrica on twitter; or Facebook page Pillars of Africa).

EDIT The African Leaders of Tomorrow (ALT) Scholarship Program commemorates the late Nelson Mandela’s commitment to social justice and equity. It supports young African professionals to become leaders in public policy and administration. The ALT Scholarship Program grants full scholarships based on merit to women and men from sub-Saharan Africa to pursue a Master’s degree in public administration, public policy or public finances in Canada. Application deadline is October 14 2016

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Adansonia, a unique pan-African opportunity, gives one the tools to be part of a wide network of similarly minded ambitious entrepreneurs from Ghana to Uganda, from Nigeria to South Africa or Kenya through an intense one-week course by  Bocconi Business School, and  international pitching event.

Africa Business Fellowship places talented American professionals within leading African companies for a minimum of 3 and up to 6 months. Through this joint partnership, Econet (founded and led by Strive Masiyiwa, and also the Fellowship’s benefactor), Africa Leadership Network and MLT will offer this unparalleled opportunity for American professionals to gain invaluable insight and hands-on experience in African businesses. Apply by November 1.

Appsafrica Innovation Awards recognise innovation and excellence in African mobile and tech. Supported by Mobile Monday, the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), Uber and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) winners will be announced at the awards party on November 14th, 2016 in Cape Town. Entries will be charged $60 per category that is entered. Start-ups who are less than 12 months old will not be charged subject to approval and can contact us for a discount code. Deadline is September 20.

creative

Africa Tech Challenge has 15 teams from Technical Vocational Education and Training institutions (TVETs) in Kenya, Zambia, Ghana and Uganda competing for Ksh 200,000 ($2,000)  as well as full scholarships to study for their Masters’ in top engineering universities in China. AVIC says the Africa Tech Challenge has armed over 290 students with technical skills.

At the AGRF 2016 in Nairobi in September 2016, commitments were made to fund African agriculture with $30 billion, including $24 billion from the African Development Bank, $5 billion from the Gates Foundation and $3 billion from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Advance Africa has several opportunities including British Chevening scholarships for international students to study in UK.

Government of Kenya scholarships to study in the UK, China, India, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Oman, Hungary, Cuba, Slovakia, Egypt, Korea, Morocco, Ireland etc.

GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund is now open for applications from start-ups in Africa and selected Asian countries, offering funding: grants of between  £100,000 and  £ 250,000. Applicants must provide a matching of at least 50% of the amount of funding requested Deadline is 18 September.

Heva Fund: HEVA is ready to receiving applications for its investment cycle,  investing between KES 100,000 and 1,000,000 to help creatives grow their businesses.

Advance Africa has several opportunities including Mo Ibrahim Foundation fellowships for young Africans.

Apply to Pitch AgriHack to win investment for your e-agriculture start-up! The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the support of partners including the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI) and m:lab East Africa, is launching the pilot edition of Pitch AgriHack, a new component of its AgriHack Talent Programme. The entrepreneurs should be owners of an already developed e-agriculture/ICT4Ag application or platform. Two categories are available: Early stage platform and Advanced platform. Winning teams will receive a cash prize of up to €15,000, as well as promotional support, additional capacity building and networking opportunities. For More.

Rockefeller – Africa Centre,  Artists In Residence (Bellagio) program is seeking applications from high calibre African artists, in different stages of their career development (from emerging to late career), who are provocative, innovative, and are stretching the boundaries of their artistic practice. The residencies are available to composers, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, video/filmmakers, curators, visual and performance artists. Application deadline is September 30.

$1 = KES 101, £1=133, €=113

What other opportunities are out there? Share in the comments section

AGRF 2016 $30 billion for African Agriculture

The ongoing  6th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) summit at Gigiri in Nairobi has seen a raft of commitments made by global and African organizations and leaders to increase production, income and employment for African farmers. The Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation announced an extension of their support to AGRA (organizers of the  event), who also celebrated their 10th anniversary this week.

Kanayo Nwanze, Agnes Kalibata, Akinwumi Adesina - three winners / laureates of the Africa Food Prize

Kanayo Nwanze, Agnes Kalibata, Akinwumi Adesina – three winners / laureates of the Africa Food Prize

Some of the announcements include:

  • African Development Bank $24 billion  to accelerate commercial financing and commercial lending to small farmers and agri-business, some of which will go towards partial risk and  partial credit scheme to improve the quality of agri-business investments to Africa
  • Gates Foundation $5 billion. 
  • $3 billion from the International Fund for Agricultural Development over 6 years (IFAD has a policy to spend at least half its $1.1 billion annual budget in Africa) .
  • Kenya Commercial Bank pledged $350 million (including $200M towards market infrastructure and $150M to livestock farmers) 
  • Kenya Government $200 million towards young farmers and entrepreneurs market access,  finance and insurance.  
  • Others were by $180M from the Rockefeller Foundation (including $130M to the Yieldwise initiative under AGRA to improve field storage), Yara fertilizer (to link small farmers to value chains), OCP Africa ($150M for local fertilizer distribution), World Food Program (will buy $120M from small farmers through a  Patient Procurement Platform), MasterCard Foundation ($30M to give small farmers market & credit info on phones in conjunction with KCB) and finally, USAID reported it had invested $6.6 billion through its ongoing Feed the Future initiative. 
$1 = 100

Fin4Ag14

All this week, Nairobi plays host to a conference called Fin4Aag14 which has the theme of Revolutionising Finance for Agri-Value Chains.

It started with plug & play session in which 18 companies got to introduce their platforms linking agriculture to finance across Africa. This is the second edition of the session that was introduced at the conference in Kigali last year and proved to be quite popular.


The 18 companies were: 

  • Tangaza Pesa: automates the value chain by doing KYC on farmers with bio data, crops produced,  and GPS  to build credit records
  • Ensibuuko (Uganda) helps (via web & mobile) to manage rural SACCO’s that can reach many of the rural unbanked farmers 
  • FarmDrive (University of Nairobi) enables small farmers to keep basic record by mobile phone and build a credit score 
  • Farmers Record Management System (FARMIS) aggregates farmers with financial institutions  to access finance and ensure loans are properly utilized 
  • Zoona’s eVoucher platform: enables agri-business supply chain payments and insurance 
  • Credit Information Sharing: enables information sharing by credit bureaus for lenders to make decisions
  • Umati Capital: paperless solution that aims to shorten dairy farmer  payment periods from 6 weeks to 24 hours
  • Agrilife – enables farmers to access markets inputs, savings, and asset finance 
  • Musoni System: a core banking for SACCO’s and micro-banks, loans, and savings that can also integrate with m-pesa and tablet apps 
  • Farmforce (Sygenta) enables traceability of farm produce for quality and for farmers to access small loans 
  • e-Krishok: Online & mobile infer for Bangladesh farmers to access information, traders and finance 
  • Creditinfo’s Credit Bureau Solution – enables credit bureaus can collect info on farmers so they can access loans without need for collateral 
  • Craft Silicon have a platform can link to MFI’s, bank, SACCO’s (Elma?)
  • aWhere Platform: with over 1 billion data points collected, enable farmers to be aware of field risks to make smarter decisions. this includes weather data for all of Africa since 1999 and others they pull from mobile services
  • AgroCentral – uses ICT to buy produce from farmers
  • RiMFin (Ghana): enables rural famers to receive mobile payments and save them in their phones 
  • finFinancials (Fintech) core banking platform that can integrate with others for digital or mobile payments
They will be there all week presenting their platforms and engaging the attendees who are from across Africa, Caribbean and Asia and who include development specialists, financiers, policy makers and top bankers who hope to get youth interested in agriculture.

There was a brief session on warehousing that detailed both the challenges and the opportunities for warehousing. Commodity warehousing types include private, public and community. Examples were cited from Tanzania (community food stored in individual houses but linked to MFI’s ), Ivory Coast (large presence in Cocoa Rubber Cashew sectors), Madagascar (communities totaling 80,000 rice farmers in villages part guaranteed by DFI’s cover 2% of the national production but provide price stability), and Nigeria (massive 1.3 million ton silo capacity against  large formal sector demand of 1.9M tons), Burkina Faso and Uganda (2 successful warehouse companies). 


Challenges facing warehousing include high costs (leaving some empty of commodities) fraud, long value chains, and contract defaults (by both small farmers and larger organizations like WFP).

Fin4Ag14 is organized by the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA),  Central Bank of Kenya and African Rural and the Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), and is supported by the FAO, the Rockefeller Foundation and Afreximbank. 


Idea Exchange: African Business, Bellagio, County tech, Kenya blog, TED Global

New, and ongoing, opportunities to apply for, including..

The African Media Initiative (AMI)  African Story Challenge  provides grants to support African business reporting and is inviting applications from individual journalists and newsrooms with unique story ideas or projects on business and technology that can only be produced with substantial support. The top twenty multimedia projects that show the best potential for adopting innovative storytelling techniques using data journalism tools, will be shortlisted for the final prize and will be awarded grants of up to $20,000 to produce them for broadcast and publication.

The All Africa Business Leaders Awards [AABLA] awards invite nominees in four categories, business leader of the year, business woman of the year, entrepreneur of the year and the young business leader of the year who through their vision, leadership and commitment make significant contributions, financial impact and/or a considerable differences through their assistance given to the work of voluntary organisations, communities, causes or society.  Deadline is 23 May.

Commonwealth Scholarships The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission has 
scholarships for candidates from developing African and South Asian Commonwealth countries to study for the part-time Masters degrees in International Human Rights Law from September 2014. Deadline is 23 April.

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Kenya Banking Awards by Think Business and categories include best bank in East Africa, and awards for product innovation, mortgage finance, SME, product, agency banking, internet, mobile, customer satisfaction, asset finance, best recovery, fastest growing, CEO, lifetime achievement, among others. 
Vote for the short-listed Kenya Blog Award finalists for the year 2014. This blog is nominated under the best business blog and there are other categories for best blogs in technology, photography, creative writing, food, environmental / agricultural, fashion/beauty, politics, corporate blog, topical blog, sports, entertainment/lifestyle, travel, health, county blog, best new blog and Kenyan Blog of the Year.

Kenya ICT Innovation Awards 2014 celebrate Kenyan companies and organizations that are using ICT in new and interesting ways. Categories this year include agriculture, BPO, education & training, environmental management, financial services, gender youth & vulnerable groups, healthcare delivery, housing & urbanization, manufacturing, social equity & poverty reduction, tourism, water & sanitation, wholesale & retail trade and finally county government issues. The deadline to apply is March 31.

Pivot East The 2014 edition of the most prestigious East African mobile start-up competition is back, and yhis years conference will be held on 24th – 25th June in Nairobi, Kenya. Apply in 5 categories of mobile finance, mobile enterprise, mobile entertainment, mobile society and mobile utility by 11 April. 

The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio residency program offers academics from universities or think tank-based academics or scientists a serene setting conducive to focused, goal-oriented work, and the unparalleled opportunity to establish new connections with fellow residents from a stimulating array of disciplines and geographies. Fiction and non-fiction writers should apply through a separate Arts & Literary Arts Residency competition, and the Foundation does have a limited travel assistance program, based on income level of invited residents. Deadline is May 1.

The Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation aims  to reward entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa in disciplines from mechanical, civil and computing to biomedical, oil and gas, mining and electronic engineering.  Every shortlisted entrant will receive six months of extensive mentoring, training and support in commercialising their innovation, as part of the Academy’s commitment to international development. Thereafter, finalists will be invited to present their innovation and a winner will be selected to receive £25,000. The deadline for entries is 30 May.
TED FellowshipThe TED Fellows program is looking for people who have “demonstrated remarkable accomplishment.” Normally, there are two admission cycles per year: one for TED and one for TEDGlobal with 20 Fellowships to each conference. Deadline  is April 18, 2014. 

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Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature are an annual Pan-African award series that recognize and celebrate excellence in stories targeting African children. Deadline is June 29.

The Business Daily Top40Under40 Women series is now open for 2014. Download entry forms from the Business Daily website and submit nominations via email. 

What other opportunities are out there? Share in the comments section

Idea Exchange: Opportunities Galore: Blogs, Dust, Eggs, Interns, PhD’s, Oil, Social Media, Weddings

Some open opportunities to apply for; 

(Edit) African Banker Awards: The 2013 African Banker Awards competition is now on. Winners will be selected in categories of  African bank, African banker, best bank (in North Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Central Africa regions),  retail bank,  investment bank , most innovative bank, socially responsible bank,  financial inclusion award, investment fund/private equity fund,  deal of the year, mortgage bank/product,  and brokerage house of the year. Deadline is 11 March.

African Development Bank: 2013 Internship Programme Session 2 – Provides students with an opportunity to acquire professional and practical experience at the African Development Bank and the Bank with a pool of potential candidates for future recruitment purposes.

Also, the #AfDB’s Regional Integration Dept is seeking junior consultants. Apply now.

PhD Fellowships from the African Economic Research Consortium  for people who have gained admission in 2013-14 to selected universities such as Cornell, Oxford, Ohio State or the Universities of Bonn, Sussex, Newcastle and others.  Apply through these university websites before April 30.  
The African Leadership Academy seeks to  enroll the most outstanding young leaders from across Africa and around the world. Deadline is February 28..

The African Leadership Academy also has the inaugural ‘African Teacher of the Year Award’ to celebrate teaching excellence on the African continent. The final 3 shortlisted finalists will be honored at a gala dinner in Johannesburg, South Africa in October in front of media, the headmasters of 100 of the leading schools in Africa, and other dignitaries. The winner of the award will also win a cash prize of $10,000. Nominate an outstanding African secondary school teacher- by the 31st of March, 2013 to teacheroftheyear_at_africanleadershipacademy.org.

Aga Khan Foundation: International Scholarships – scholarships and loans for postgraduate studies in 2013-14 to outstanding students from the developing world. The Foundation assists students with tuition fees and living expenses only and half of the scholarship amount is considered as a loan, which must be reimbursed with an annual service charge of 5%. Application deadline is 31 March.

(Edit) Anzisha Prize 2013: Has $75,000 in cash prizes for youth entrepreneurs. Details here and deadline for the @anzishaprize is April 1.
BAKE: Kenyan Blog Awards 2013 awards aim to reward and recognize exceptional bloggers creating content in technology, photography, creative writing, business, food, environmental / agricultural, style, politics, corporate, sports, lifestyle, travel, new blog and others.  Deadline is February 1.
Big Brother Africa: BBA 2013 kicks off in May. To qualify, participants have to be above the age of 21 and speak fluent English.
Blackberry: Developers may apply for Built for Blackberry reviews and the $10,000 Developer Commitment before February 18.

(Edit) CNN Multichoice African Journalist 2013 is open to African nationals, working on the continent for African owned, or headquartered, media organisations and with work that has appeared in printed publications or electronic media that is primarily targeted at and received by an African audience. Deadline is 17 April 2013.

(Edit) The 10th edition of Diageo’s DABRA awards is now open. The Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards will recognize journalists and editors who provide high quality coverage of the business environment in Africa in ten categories including ICT, finance, infrastructure, agribusiness / environment, tourism, best business story, business feature, newcomer, media of the year, and journalist of the year. Deadline is March 15.

(Edit) East Africa Philanthropy Awards: The 2013 EAPA awards from the East Africa Association of Grantmakers is now open for nominations in philanthropy categories for individuals, youth, faith-based, community, social entrepreneurs, and corporate philanthropy. Deadline is 30 March.
Egg Hatching Incubators are being lent to individuals and groups on credit, and with no interest charge. 
Faithful Frames: Win a free wedding photoshoot worth Kshs. 15,000 (~$175). Deadline is  Jan 28.

(Edit) Film Mentorship Program: Opportunity for talented young African filmmakers involved in directing, scriptwriting, production, camera, production design, sound design and editing, to enroll in a workshop where they will meet professional filmmakers from all over the world in September 2013. Details here and deadline is 1 May.

(Edit) The International Academy of Journalism 2013/2014 Fellowship program Journalism in the Digital World is now open.  Deadline is May 3, 2013.

Kings Pool Challenge League: EABL’s Pilsner brand is sponsoring a national pool tournament that runs from 21 January to May 4 2013.
(Edit) The 2013 edition of Mobile Web East Africa  is on later in February in Nairobi. Read more about the event.

Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value (CSV) seeks innovative programmes, businesses or social enterprises that innovate with impact in water, nutrition, or rural development. Deadline is March 31

(Edit) PivotEast: The third edition of this mobile startup showcase competition takes place on June 25-26 2013 in Kampala, Uganda, and it is open to  all companies in East Africa including South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Competition will be in five categories of mobile finance, mobile enterprise, mobile society, mobile utility, mobile entertainment – and this year companies can submit a product in more than one category. The deadline for entries  is 15 April.


(Edit) Poptech: The 2013 Social Innovation Fellows program. Details here and deadline is 2 April.

(Edit) The Rockefeller Foundation Next Century Innovators Award series is now open. Nominate people or organizations that can win up to $100,000 for solving entrenched social problems. Deadline is February 28

Squad Digital: The digital agency is seeking an experienced digital business director with  knowledge of social SEO, Mobile (e.g. M-banking) 
TAHMO: Design a sensor that measures a weather or hydrological variable (temperature, wind, dust or lightning) and is both inexpensive and robust.  Deadline is 1 March 2013.
Tony Elumelu Foundation: Is seeking companies to place interns with for periods of  8-10 weeks. They should have revenue of $250,000 – $5 million per year and agree to pay for stipends while the Foundation will  cover the cost of recruitment, travel, and accommodation  
Toyota: Dream Car art contest dubbed “Your Dream—The Car of the Future” aims to create an opportunity for children (in 3 categories) —through drawing pictures of their “dream cars” —to develop their interest in cars. Deadline is January 31. 
Tullow Oil: The Group Scholarship Scheme will offer up to 114 scholarships across its countries of operation (10 for Kenya) for the 2013/14 academic year and these can be in engineering & tech., oil & gas economics, business journalism, law, and others. Deadline is 13 February. 
World Bank Africa: Social media internship – apply by responding to the phrase: #iwant2work4africa because..