Are you an early stage startup or a young journalism organisation in Ethiopia or Kenya with a keen interest in fact-checking?

Code for Africa (CfA) is offering an intensive three-month incubation programme for early stage media startups or young media organisations in Ethiopia and Kenya with an interest in building a fact-checking desk. Successful organisations will receive technical support, resources and assistance in amplifying or growing projects, hands-on mentoring from international experts as well as CfA’s in-house team of media professionals.  

The incubation programme is offered in partnership with DW Akademie (DWA) and financed by

the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

The incubation programme

The incubation programme seeks to build a diversified ecosystem of local fact-checking champions to aid in the fight against misinformation and disinformation. The programme will consist of:

  1. Financial support: The chosen organisations will receive a modest grant to go towards covering eligible activities and costs. Additionally, selected staff will be considered for a fact-checking fellowship (which consists of a small grant alongside training and mentoring).
  2. Technical support: CfA will offer technical support, including access to CfA technologies consisting of knowledge resources that have been developed over time such as operating manuals and internal experts, as well as operational systems that have been tried and tested in its programmes such as PesaCheck and iLAB.
  3. Organisation building: The chosen organisations will receive online consultations with CfA to assist them to better understand their audience, refine their fact-checking offering and develop potential revenue models.
  4. Growing reach: CfA will offer amplification/growth support, including scaling/syndication support and revenue-share co-implementation opportunities.

Are You Eligible? 

Applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • The organisation must be based in Ethiopia or Kenya and registered with the relevant authorities.
  • The organisation must be a start-up in its early stages of development.
  • The organisation must be broadcasting or publishing content in English and/or a local language. 
  • The organisation must have an existing online presence, including an actively maintained website and/or social media profiles, or a substantive commitment to establish an online presence at the beginning of the programme.
  • The organisation must have internet access and internet-capable devices for participating journalists/trainees/researchers to enable them to access project resources, and undertake their digital/data journalism assignments.
  • The organisation must have skilled and available editorial staff (journalists and supervising editors) or managerial  staff who are committed to participating in the time period agreed upon.
  • The organisation must commit to timely and open communication from the organisation’s managers and seconded team members.
  • The seconded trainees must commit to agreed upon weekly online training and task-based class assignments.
  • The organisation must commit to broadcasting or publishing content produced through the programme and driving engagement on an appropriate public platform.

The deadline for applications is 15 September 2021

To apply, complete this form

Questions? Reach out to our team at [email protected].


About the Partners:

  • Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest federation of non-profit civic technology and open data laboratories, with full-time staff in 20 African countries, who use open source software and machine learning data science to build digital democracy services that give citizens timely and unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that simultaneously strengthens civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability. 
  • PesaCheck is currently Africa’s largest (non-profit) fact-checking initiative, with full-time teams in 14 countries (in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia). PesaCheck also supports independent CheckDesks in 28 newsrooms across the continent. Together, the network currently produces over 250 fact-checks per month in two international languages (English and French), as well as in Amharic and Swahili, with additional African languages including Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya scheduled to launch later this year. PesaCheck’s fact-checking resulted in an average of 400,000/month posts on Facebook being labelled as misleading/harmful, with Instagram, Twitter and Reddit also using PesaCheck reports to identify misinformation on their platforms.
  • iLAB is Africa’s largest forensic analysis lab using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools to fight disinformation and hate speech across the continent. It has full-time data analysts and cybercrime investigators in eight countries (in Burkina Faso, Côte d’ivoire, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Zimbabwe), who help expose digital campaigns designed to mislead the public in the run-up to elections and other democratic processes.
  • Deutsche Welle Akademie (DWA) DW Akademie is Deutsche Welle’s center for international media development, journalism training and knowledge transfer. Our projects strengthen the human right to freedom of expression and unhindered access to information. DW Akademie empowers people worldwide to make independent decisions based on reliable facts and constructive dialogue. DW Akademie is a strategic partner of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. We also receive funding from the Federal Foreign Office and the European Union and are active in approximately 50 developing countries and emerging economies.