Current status: impactAFRICA has now closed applications for round three

About impactAFRICA

Who are we, and what do we do?

impactAFRICA is the continent’s largest fund for data-driven storytelling.

We offer $500,000 in support for pioneering data journalism and innovative reporting that tackles development issues, such as public healthcare, in six African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

Our support goes beyond cash. We also provide technology assistance from our civic labs in all six countries, as well as one-on-one editorial mentoring, digital skills training, and content syndication services. The initiative is intended to spur newsroom experimentation and innovative storytelling, while also encouraging more evidence-based public discourse.

Details about the skills programme, which is open to anyone who wants to participate (not just those who submit proposals to impactAFRICA), can be found here.

Participants who wish to submit proposals should focus on in-depth reportage into hidden, neglected or under-reported health and development issues.

You can get a detailed explanation of how impactAFRICA’s four annual journalism contests work on our FAQ pages.


impactAFRICA is an initiative of Code for Africa (CfAfrica) and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).

impactAFRICA’s core activities are funded through ICFJ with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The World Bank underwrites impactAFRICA’s webinars and other skills initiatives. CFI Media Cooperation is a strategic partner, helping spread impactAFRICA’s insights and resources across Francophone Africa. The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) network helps give impactAFRICA participants access to the latest data on a wide variety of development issues.

impactAFRICA aims to reach as many journalists as possible, and has therefore partnered with the 30,000 strong Hacks/Hackers Africa community of news technologists, as well as newsrooms in the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR).


impactAFRICA is managed by Haji Mohamed Dawjee who was previously the director of social media accounts at Ogilvy Johannesburg. Prior to that, she was the deputy digital news editor at the Mail & Guardian.

She is supported by the CfAfrica executive team, including:

CfAfrica director: Justin Arenstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and media entrepreneur, who has used his ICFJ Knight Fellowship to found Code for Africa, as well as the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR) and the Hacks/Hackers Africa community.

CfAfrica editor: Chris Roper is an editor and digital strategist, who was most recently editor-in-chief of Africa’s leading investigative newspaper, the Mail & Guardian. He was previously editor-in-chief at the continent’s largest digital news platform, Roper is using his ICFJ Knight Fellowship at CfAfrica to help African newsrooms make the transition into sustainable and effective digital journalism.

CfAfrica lead technologist: David Lemayian manages a pan-African network of software developers and civic technology experts, working from CitizenLabs, to liberate public interest data and build digital services that empower citizens.

CfAfrica lead in Kenya: Catherine Gicheru is an international award-winning Kenyan editor who helped establish the nation’s fastest growing newspaper, The Star, after having helped lead the Nation Group’s investigative unit. Gicheru is using her ICFJ Knight Fellowship at CfAfrica to expand Code for Kenya.