ANIC is looking for ideas that will transform the way that African media work. This means that your idea should offer significant and tangible improvements to existing tools or techniques, or should propose new ways for African journalists to gather news, tell stories, engage with audiences, or sustain media organisations.
Ideas that have the potential to be replicated or that could scale continentally will have an advantage.
A mobile web, SMS and USSD curated portal to help immigrants in South Africa who have no access to news from their homelands.
There is no one else doing something similar at the moment. An opportunity exists to capture the African news market on a single portal through aggregation and curation.
Africa is a continent of immigrants and foreigners who move long distances from their birthplaces, and are out of touch with news there. The Somesha service will aggregate and curate content onto one portal in order to provide Africa-wide content for dispersed Africans.
Using a CMS such as Drupal the system will pull content from various African news providers in various countries through RSS and content agreements. The opportunity exists to help content providers share their content and through an advertising revenue share monetize. There will also be an editor that curates the content making sure there is no duplication or poor quality content published. The content will then be available on a mobile website, SMS alert system and through USSD, catering for every level of mobile user.
Currently Saul Kropman is the business developer. He is the ex product manager at Avusa (The Sowetan and Sunday World online properties), has two business degrees, and has a content curation business.
There is currently a proof of concept prototype that already pulls content from various sources and publishes this content on a mobile friendly website. This concept uses Drupal as the underlying CMS however the theme is mobile friendly but highly static catering for a specific screen size. The funding required would go into rebuilding the site with a more user friendly content management system and mobile website.
The funding will be used primarily for marketing and hiring a curator for the site. We expect marketing to bring an audience onto the platform and once the marketing budget has run out we will have enough advertising revenue to sustain a small content team.
Requested amount from ANIC: $100 000
Expected amount of time required to complete project: Two months of development, two years for audience development
Total project cost: Year one: $10 000 for development and hosting, $20 000 for an editor, $70 000 for marketing.
Name: Saul Kropman
Country: South Africa