Aga Khan University and DW to launch an innovation hub for media startups


The Aga Khan University has partnered with DW Akademie in a multi-year project dubbed Futures Project for Media Innovation and Sustainability to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in media.

“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 two will establish 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.

The two centers 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).

The Graduate School of Media and Communications will work with most media houses in East Africa to promote innovation, build knowledge, and strengthen the capacity of journalists and media institutions.

“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.