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Africa's largest innovation fund for data journalism, civic technologies, & open data.
Africa's largest innovation fund for data journalism, civic technologies, & open data.


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Want to experiment with digital or data journalism, but don't have the funds, skills, or tech resources?

Come find out how to get them, at this free press breakfast. RSVP on the link below.
What’s all the fuss about data journalism and news apps?

What are they, why are they important for building new audiences and revenue streams, and how does your newsroom start using them?

Come share breakfast with some African pioneers to learn about resources, funding and easy-to-use data sources to get your newsrooms started.

Indigo Trust’s Loren Treisman will showcase a range of international projects they’ve already supported, like the new People’s Assembly portal in South Africa and mySociety in the UK, and will also speak about how her organisation can support similar newsroom-based projects in future. 

The African Media Initiative’s Justin Arenstein will show how these kinds of resources are being used by African newsrooms from Kenya to Ghana to build significant new businesses based on news products that range from simple SMS services to more sophisticated apps and websites.

Code for South Africa’s Adi Eyal will showcase how his lab (one of a string across the continent) is doing the heavy lifting by building “building blocks” that power things like Mail & Guardian’s Know Your Hood gadget to help you understand who your neighbours are voting for, or ODAC’s iNeighbourhood tool for Cape Town.

With elections just one month away in South Africa, participants at the breakfast will also be able to meet local digital projects that can help turboboost your newsroom’s coverage, ranging from mobile apps for citizen reporting, to detailed free data on politicians track-records in Parliament (including their declared registers of interest).
Both Indigo Trust and the African Media Initiative offer small grants (up to R200,000) for interesting ideas to make data come alive and spark real change in society. Come to the meetups to hear how to be part of the change you want to see.
RSVP as soon as possible to secure your seat, completing this online form or by emailing Nqobile Buthelezi-Sibisi on


The breakfast is in Meeting room 2.41, on the 2nd Floor, of the Cape Town International Conference Center (CTICC)


The Indigo Trust (IT) is an independent grant-making foundation which funds technology driven projects which bring about social change in Africa, with a special focus on transparency, innovation and citizen empowerment. It believes that change is most effectively stimulated through well devised programmes, including various stakeholders (civil society, community activists, press, techies, government etc). 

The African Media Initiative (AMI) is the continent’s largest umbrella association of media owners / operators. It runs the continent’s largest digital innovation programme targeting hacktivists and journalists, with the $1m/year African News Challenge, $1m/year African Story Challenge, and various other funds supporting everything from camera drone projects, to the continent’s largest data liberation and open data initiatives through Code for Africa.

IT and AMI are working together to kickstart digital democracy in South Africa. We welcome proposals from groups working together to utilise data to stimulate community activism and create social change through campaigns, advocacy and other well devised programmes. Speak to each other, share ideas and establish partnerships. We’d love to help turn your ideas into viable programmes.
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A great opportunity for anyone in Lagos this weekend.
Do you want to kickstart a digital health revolution and win $15,000 in cash prizes, plus space at a top incubator with expert mentorship?

Nigeria is celebrating International Open Data Day on February 22 by convening the nation’s first Health Hackathon, which will bring together coders and design creatives, along with health and open data experts, and storytellers, to design and build practical solutions to Nigeria’s front-line health sector problems.

The 1-day event takes place at iDEA Hub and is underwritten by Nigeria’s Ministry of Communication Technology, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, Code for Nigeria, Hala Nigeria, Hacks/Hackers and the World Bank.

The Health Hackathon will bring together professional coders and regional experts to guide teams to build data-driven mobile apps and citizen engagement tools using readily available health data.

The five best projects will qualify for seed grants from a prize basket of $14,000 and will also be in line for incubation support at iDEA, plus additional technical support from Code for Nigeria to help accelerate teams’ efforts to build and launch fully-functional prototypes, as well as explore marketable opportunities for the best ideas.

Hackathon participants will also be invited to join the Lagos chapter of Hacks/Hackers, so they can continue to network with design creatives, civil society, and media to expand their digital literacy skills and explore collaborative opportunities.

Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. You should therefore register as soon as possible.
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Want to protect your newsrooms / journalists against government surveillance? Our friends over at +Hacks/Hackers Africa are bringing encryption & security geeks together to unveil government snooping in South Africa. Should be interesting.
Ready to fight back? Even know what you’re fighting against? Tuesday 11th February has been earmarked as a global day of action to protest the ongoing mass surveillance of the internet by by the security services of the world, and to raise awareness of online data privacy in general.

Worldwide, The Day We Fight Back is being co-ordinated by ThoughtWorks, the Mozilla Foundation, the (other) EFF, BoingBoing, Greenpeace, reddit and more. But while their focus is primarily on the activities of the ‘Five Eyes’ - the US, UK, New Zealand, Australian and Canadian security services - we wanted to take this opportunity to look at what happens right here in South Africa.

Earlier this week, estimated that around 60% of all South African internet traffic passes through nodes known to be monitored by one of the Five Eyes. We often hear that South Africa’s own security services are even more invasive - although little is ever proved or written down about their activities. Perhaps we just like it that way?

To look at these issues and how their affect our work and our clients or readers, we’re very pleased to have three speakers all well versed in the subject matter.

Vinayak Bhardwaj, the Advocacy Coordinator of M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism aMabhungane and campaign group Right2KNow will talk about what we know South African security services are listening in on, and what we merely suspect goes on.

ThoughtWorks’ Quintis Venter will discuss tools we can use to protect ourselves, and the theory of “datensparsamkeit” - the best, ethical practices companies can develop towards capturing customer data. Venter also has some great ideas for how common internet services like social networking and Google Now-type stuff could and should work without being intrusive.

Paul Jacobson of Web•Tech•Law is one of Johannesburg’s leading authorities where commerce and privacy meet. He’s well versed in the ways of the up-and-coming and much delayed Protection of Personal Information legislation, and will talk about what rights South African individuals will have and should be exercising once POPI becomes law.

As ever, we’ll be organising through our Meet-up group here. The event takes place on Tuesday 11th February, at ThoughtWorks offices at the South Point building on Melle Street in Braamfontein at 7pm.
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Cool. The influential +Knight Foundation in the USA has interviewed +Hacks/Hackers Africa member Dickens Olewe about his skyCAM journalistic drone project.

The project, which is the 1st newsroom managed camera drone initiative on the continent, was a +African News Innovation Challenge winner. It a really cool project ... but looks like it needs some help with its website design. Any takers?
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Cool event for any news innovators in Jo'burg. The local +Hacks/Hackers Africa chapter is hosting +Storify co-founder +Burt Herman at a free pizza & beer meetup on Monday, to chat about how he raised $2-million for his start-up before selling it to +Livefyre
Ever wondered whether 'news geeks' really make millions off their clever tech ideas?

Former US journalist +Burt Herman shares his insights from having co-founded +Storify, the  global content curator / aggregator. Storify attracted $2 million (roughly R20 million) in startup funding from venture capitalists after its launch in 2010, and was sold to +Livefyre for an undisclosed amount in late 2014.

Burt is also co-founder of #HacksHackers  global. He'll be interviewed by our own +Phillip de Wet during an interactive 'fireside chat', before opening discussion to the floor.

Entrance to the meet-up is free (as always). There'll be free pizzas, and drinks. Invite your mates, and come listen to how some journalists are innovating their way out of the economic crisis that is strangling media worldwide.
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Africa's news innovation ecosystem grows! Our friends at #HacksHackers now have 14 active chapters across the continent, connecting local journalists and technologists.
#HacksHackers  Africa now has 14 active chapters across the continent. Here's a quick overview of the network's activities + its strategies.
Hacks/Hackers Lagos
Hacks/Hackers Lagos
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This looks like a fantastic opportunity for aspiring South African #DataJournalists  to get to grips what the #Census  + to connect with local activist coders ( #hacktivist s)  
Want to know what the #SouthAfrica #census says about your neighbourhood?

#Code4SouthAfrica and #HacksHackers Cape Town are hosting the 1st of their 2014 maker nights at codebridge on Thursday, January 23. The meetup will focus on how to use 'small area' data to build apps, visualisations, or storytelling projects.

The maker nights are a regular Thursday evening event at Code4SouthAfrica, that bring together #hacktivists with journalists, civil society activists, and citizen groups to explore ways to strengthen digital democracy.

You don't need any code or tech skills to participate, because most projects are team efforts with developers.

If you're interested in attending, register at this link:
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Cool. #HacksHackers  Logos kickstarts #DataJournalism  in Nigeria with a free crash-course in creating news graphics with #DataWrapper.
Want to learn how to create news infographics & charts in minutes ... and win cash prizes in the process?  

#HacksHackers  Lagos is hosting a crash-course at the Co-Creation Hub on Saturday, January 11.  

The meetup will start at 11am sharp, and will offer hands-on one-on-one training using #DataWrapper to create news graphics that will help you simplify complex stories for your audiences. DataWrapper is a simply visualisation tool specially created for newsrooms, and used by everyone from Twitter and the UK Guardian, to various African media.

The training is free-of-charge, and will be led by a team of experts from The best infographics or data-driven visualisations created at the workshop will win prizes totalling $250.  

There are limited seats, so register ASAP on the Lagos chapter's gGroup here:
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Worried about protecting your sources / whistleblowers, or about securing your digital devices? Runa Sandvik from +Tor Project  will talk security strategies for journalists at the +Hacks/Hackers Africa meetup in Jo'burg on May 8.

Follow the links below to reserve your seat.
Protecting the identity of journalistic sources and whistleblowers is an increasingly complex issue in South Africa.

Visiting hacktivist and security geek Runa Sandvik, from the +Tor Project in London, will share practical tips to help journalists secure their computers and phones, encrypt their communications, and will offer advice for how best to protect sources and whistleblowers.

Hacks/Hackers Johannesburg will host the meetup at its new home, +JoziHub, at 44Stanley.

Here'll be free snacks / drinks for registered participants. Bring your laptops and other electronic devices for the hands-on workshop session. Seats are limited, so register now!
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