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Google launches the 2nd Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge for Africa, Middle East, Turkey

Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge

Google has launched the 2nd Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge (GNI) across Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East. The call for projects aims to increase reader engagement, while exploring new media business models has been released.

The first project attracted 21 projects from 13 countries that received funding last year. The awardees came from Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Morocco, UAE, Rwanda, South Africa, and Turkey.

South Africa

The Daily Maverick in South Africa developed a “relevancy regime” targeting small and medium-sized publishers while helping them aggregate better readership insights while raising their subscriptions.


Ringier Africa Digital Publishing, received funding to personalize its platform using precision, recommendations, and other local information pages to increase overall user engagement.


Africa Uncensored won the Kenyan award as a platform aggregating news from the public to produce to scale.

Applications will open today and run till the 12th of April where established publishers, online players publisher consortia, news startups, and local industry consortia will be eligible to apply. You can apply here.

Ludovic Blecher, Head of Innovation at GNI mentions how the projects will be funded to a tune of $150,000, which is 70% of its total cost. Funding will not be availed for editorial projects but rather on reader engagements while exploring new business models. Google won’t take any equity or IP of any project submitted

All applications must be made on the website and shall remain open until Monday 12th, April at midnight. An online town hall will be held on 3rd March at 1300 GMT offering a live presentation on how one can apply.


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