It’s just been reported that Spotify has announced a first-of-its-kind podcast initiative on the continent called the Africa Podcast Fund that carries the goal of supporting podcasters and further amplifying their stories… This $100,000 (about R1.8 million) fund is said to be aimed at bolstering the careers of these podcast creators through financial grants, workshops and networking opportunities.
This Africa Podcast Fund was offered to select creators from African countries with the biggest podcast listenerships, namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. The grant also includes a Cameroonian podcast with large listenerships both in France and in Francophone African countries, such as Cote d’Ivoire. Given the wide range of selected countries, the winning podcasts are recorded in a range of languages including Pidgin, English, French, Sheng, Ga, and Twi.
Its also been said that the fund will be administered by Africa Podfest, a Kenyan-based company focused on inspiring and elevating African podcasters by building a sustainable and inclusive podcasting industry across Africa.
Africa Podfest is excited about the development of podcasting in Africa particularly because the medium allows underrepresented African voices to tell the story of Africa.– Melissa Mbugua, Co-Director, Africa Podfest
The 13 recipient podcasts are: The Sandwich Podcast, The Messy Inbetween, Mantalk.ke and Nipe Story from Kenya. Others are Si Maman M’avait Dit (Cameroon) Sincerely Accra (Ghana) I Said What I Said, Tea With Tay, F&S Uncensored (Nigeria), After School Is After School with Sis G.U, The Journey Kwantu, Wisdom & Wellness with Mpoomy Ledwaba, Convos & Cocktails with Lesego Tlhabi (South Africa).
Spotify says independent emerging podcasters with growing audiences were selected as recipients for the Africa Podcast Fund initiative, with a focus on supporting podcasts that showcase a range of voices in terms of varying podcast formats, gender, language and content.
It is through initiatives such as these that Spotify’s goal of further platforming African creators on a global scale can be realised – a goal central to shifting a historically restrictive view of storytelling out of and about the continent.