Recap on Justin Arenstein’s ANIC session – great ideas up for grabs!

Yesterday evening we had the innovation space full of techies and some journalists who wanted to know more about the Africa News Innovation Challenge (ANIC), officially opening mid-February. For background, check the earlier blog post and ANIC Facebook page.

First Justin Arenstein gave a short intro presentation of ANIC, available in SlideShare:

He summed up the idea of the challenge by saying that the challenge is about solving local real world problems with a media spin/relevance. Keyword is digital. There is already loads of data available and data-driven journalism supported by smart apps and visualizations can really help people to make informed opinions and decisions about their surroundings. The point is not to re-invent the wheel but to use existing data, ideas and applications in new contexts. The competition is not only about mobiles and mobile apps, but Justin said that mobiles are such a powerful tool now due to their accessibility that they are very interesting in seeing ideas using mobiles to sharing and communicating information.

Justin showed a lot of interesting portals and websites that have implemented some ideas related to data-driven journalism or contain open databases that could be also used in Tanzania. Open Government Partnership also come up as it is now being prepared to be implemented in Tanzania.

Here are some of the websites that we had a look at:
Added 31.1. 11.43 from Justin: Sign up for HacksHackers Dar es Salaam & Join FB page

We rounded up the session with some discussion and networking but everyone would probably agree that this was just a beginning for ANIC in Tanzania. Justin said he has been trying to set up Hacks/Hacker communities in different countries and if there’s interest from Tanzania’s techies and journalists, we could organize something like 2 to 4 day Bootcamp or hackathon to bring the media owners, journalists and techies together and create some of these applications during the event and explore the possibilities of using technology in media in Tanzania.

If there’s interest from the local developer and journalist community, TANZICT and COSTECH would be happy to support in this. Contact Justin and let us know!

And again we need to ask, where are all the women? There are no women that are interested in technology or media in Tanzania? We don’t believe that!

During the event participants were tweeting with #anic and #ddj hashtags. You can also have a look at what happened from the Flickr gallery, share under Creative Commons:

We are hoping to get Pernille’s photos linked up here soon as well… 😉


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