Propose a Story for $1M African Journalism Contest

Deadline: vary according to theme (first is 14 June 2013, followed by 23 August 2013; 9 December 2013; 21 February 2014; and 23 May 2014)
Open to: African journalists in Africa or the diaspora over 18 years old writing in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic
Prize: $1 million total of grants to cover costs to produce multimedia stories about African topics


The African Story Challenge is a new $1 million programme of reporting grants to encourage innovative, multimedia storytelling that aims to improve the health and prosperity of Africans.

The African Story Challenge is a two-year pan-African project that seeks to challenge the media to expand coverage of fundamental issues that matter to Africans. Their goal is to contribute to the building of a strong media sector able to deliver content that matters to the African public. They aim to inspire a bold form of journalism that seeks solutions and uses innovative, digital and data-driven storytelling tools and techniques. In doing so the project aims to hold leaders accountable, spur better policies, increase transparency, encourage public engagement and disseminate vital information that will lead to more vibrant communities.

The African Story Challenge grants are meant to fund the costs associated with developing your idea. The grants can be used for covering travel expenses, basic equipment needed to produce your actual story and on a case-by-case basis, it will be judged if the grant can cover salary costs for the period of time salaried journalists are doing field-based gathering of material. The African Story Challenge policies prevent funds from being used to pay organisation costs not directly linked to the development of your idea.

Read the Frequently Asked Questions page HERE for more information.

The Story Challenge is a project by the African Media Initiative (AMI), the continent’s largest association of media owners and operators, in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).


This competition is targeted at African journalists from around the continent, whether applicants are Anglophone, Francophone, Portuguese – or Arabic-speaking. Entries will be accepted in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

The competition is open to media organisations, online contributors with demonstrated followings, or affiliated freelance journalists. All participants, including freelance journalists, will have to ensure they have at least one confirmed outlet (TV, radio, print or online) for their work.

This competition is only open to Africans, either in Africa or in the diaspora. Anyone one aged 18 and above can apply.


Applications must be completed online HERE, simply by filling in the online entry form and attaching to it a proposal of no more than 500 words.

The competition will be divided into five themes, which each have their own deadlines as follows:

  1. Agriculture and Food Security – 14 June 2013
  2. Diseases: Prevention and Treatment – 23 August 2013
  3. My Africa 2063 – 9 December 2013
  4. Maternal and Child Health – 21 February 2014
  5. Business and Technology – 23 May 2014

No late submissions will be accepted. See the key dates section HERE for all other deadlines and key dates for when the organizers will contact shortlisted entrants. 

Shortlisted candidates will need to have a valid passport and be available to travel and take part in a week-long training boot camp. The first will be held between 15th July and 9th August 2013. These shortlisted candidates will then be given reporting grants to undertake a month’s field production to complete their story. The winners will be announced at the Highway Africa conference at Rhodes University in South Africa on 2nd September 2013.

Contact with your questions. For more information about terms and conditions and judging criteria, please see the official website HERE.

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