Growing African podcasts: Just add funding

Spotify has stumped up $100 000 to develop podcasting across Africa.

23 February 2023

Melissa Mbugua (left) and Josephine Karianjahi started Africa Podfest to help grow the medium across the continent.

The chance for African podcasters to hone their professionalism and increase their reach has gained a $100 000 boost from the global streaming platform Spotify. Thirteen podcasters from across the continent have been given the cash to buy better equipment, book studio time, employ more staff or learn new skills to generate regular and engaging content. They’ll also learn how to market themselves effectively and seek advertising deals or sponsorships to turn their hobbies into self-sustaining businesses. “A lot of podcasters around the world – and especially in Africa – finance their podcasts from their own pockets, so having this kind of support really is a big step,” says Melissa Mbugua, co-founder of Africa Podfest.

Mbugua started Africa Podfest in Kenya with Josephine Karianjahi to help develop the area as a sustainable industry across Africa. Now Spotify has appointed the company to handle its $100 000 Africa Podcast Fund by selecting the recipients and helping them grow. They selected podcasters with the biggest listenerships, finding them in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa. Some record in English or French, while others are in Pidgin, Kiswahili, Hausa or isiZulu.

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