Aga Khan University and DW Akademie Launch “The Futures Project”
The Aga Khan University has partnered with DW Akademie in a project that will evaluate if the media in East Africa stands a chance of surviving the digital revolution that has impacted consumer patterns.
The multi-year project dubbed Futures Project for Media Innovation and Sustainability in East Africa will be implemented by the Graduate School of Media and Communications and will work with most media houses in East Africa by promoting innovation, building knowledge, and strengthening the capacity of journalists and media institutions.
“This project is going to create the space for us to begin to think about the media as a business and journalism as a craft. It is going to enhance the professional capability of journalists and will create a pathway for new business models for media houses in the digital age,” said Dr Alex Awiti, Interim Dean at GSMC and Vice Provost, Aga Khan University, East Africa.
The project will also spur entrepreneurship as well as sharing knowledge, expertise and resources. “We believe that independent quality journalism is important but financing is an issue. It is very expensive and we have to find new models to finance businesses in the media sector to make sure that quality journalism can survive.” said DW Akademie Head, Carsten von Nahmen.
The project will be carried out in two phases – the establishment of an Innovation Centre in Nairobi led by Aga Khan University; and a Media Viability Network led by DW Akademie. The Centre will foster media innovation and entrepreneurship through research, mentorship and incubation services. Through the network, trainers and coaches will teach and work alongside small and medium-sized media outlets to build their capacity and facilitate exploration of new business models.
The project forms part of a financing and operating partnership between Aga Khan University (AKU), the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Welle Academie (DWA), and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).