⇓ More from ICTworks

What Kenya ICT Board Content Grants Mean to Mwananchi

By Judy Wawira on July 16, 2010

Attending the Tandaa symposium in May 2010 organised by the Kenya ICT Board to enhance digital content, film and animation, I was impressed by the cue to creating local content simply described by Dr. Ndemo Bitange the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication.

In plain words he said “unlike in other developed countries where their potential is realised, there is a lot of power for Kenyans to seize up, through enhancement of digital content.”

A challenge to the permanent secretary was to address the question.. “what can the Kenyan government do to empower local talent to create local digital content and generate income?” As all ‘political’ replies, the PS reiterated the government commitment to motivating development of local digital content, but noted the bulk of the burden was on Kenyans to work on rather than the government. He reminded the audience of regulations of broadcast in Kenya that direct that 40% should be local content. He noted the ‘ignorance’ of opportunity represented by entry of digital television and broadband internet in Kenya.


Kenya ICT Board Content Grants

Therefore when a few weeks I was attending the Barcamp Nairobi events there was news of an ICT Board grant to Kenyans to work on digital content, I was moved by the effort made. The grant of 4 million dollars has 2 categories- one addressing government services and another for application development. The target group also falls within 2 categories, for firms registered ion Kenya that can apply for up to 50,000$ and for individuals qualifying for 10,000$.

The grant mainly targets startup companies, but existing projects qualify if the funds will be utilized for further development and not marketing. Despite the fact that the target is 46 grants this year, the ICT board had received 500 applications within 10 days of posting. A panel of 9 judges will have the daunting task of assessing the winning applications.

Mwananchi Impact

What does the grant mean to the ordinary ‘mwananchi’? I like the approach that the ICT board utilized in recruiting applications. Allowing individual submission means that there will be stiff competition but at the same time allowing for a variety of submissions. Moreover there is opportunity that is presented away from the usual bureaucratic tendering process of the government.

The regional workshops that have been organised by the ICT board serve as a good platform of information dissemination. The fact that government employees (except those in the ministry of technology and communication) and even students will apply is a good case in point of creating opportunity for income generation.

I have not succeeded in writing a successful grant application despite many application to the international forums. In a wrong assumption probably but the grant writing skills and project management will be a big challenge to Kenyan youth applying for this grant. Language barrier (Kiswahili is not accepted as a language of submission) will be a factor. The very short word requirements are appropriate but are crucial in terms of a quality submission.

That not withstanding I am settling down to finish my application – the deadline for the Digital Content and Software Application Grant is this Monday, get your proposal in now!

I hopefully will write in future on writing a successful grant application to the ICT board in next years call for application….

Filed Under: Finance
More About: , , ,

Written by
I'm a medical doctor addressing community health problems through health informatics and mobile health
Stay Current with ICTworksGet Regular Updates via Email

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.