Friday, October 11, 2013

Idea Exchange: Malkiat Singh, Blog Payouts, Biko, MAVC

Malkiat Singh: For more than 30 years, school children in Kenya have learnt using books produced by an author who seemed to have an endless list of titles under his name that were super human in breadth  - that many wondered if the man actually existed. 

This week Malkiat Singh, surfaced to sign deal in which he transferred the rights to 43 titles of his 'Improve Series' for Kshs 83 million (~$955,000) to Longhorn Publishers

At the event he spoke of his journey from when he published his first book  in 1970,  and went on became a full time author in 1975 and then to set up his own publishing outfit - Dhillon Publishers in 1993 that has produced over 100 titles.

Biko Zulu: At the recent Story Moja Hay Festival in Nairobi, popular lifestyle writer and blogger, Biko Zulu gave an interesting master class on creative writing with ideas for writers on how to be unique, grab attention, and tell a good story.  He also spoke of his plans for the future, including a revamp of his blog which has some very popular posts like this Letter to Kenyans Abroad!

Currently available writing, and other opportunities include: 

ALAcademy: African Leadership Academy seeks to enroll the most outstanding young people with the potential to lead and impact the world through their courage, initiative and innovation. The Academy receives 4,000 applications from most African countries each year, and the deadline for the first round this time is November 30. 

Afrinolly is a short film contest with BuniTv. Upload your short movie or documentary by November 30 to be eligible for 3 prizes of $25,000, $15,000 and $5,000

The Commonwealth Writers Prize is a short story prize from the Commonwealth Foundation awarded to established and new writers across the Commonwealth. Just write your story of 2,000-5000 words story on whatever topic and you could win UK pounds 2,500  or 5,000 UK pounds. More here and deadline is 30 November.

The Google Cloud Developer Challenge runs from October 22 to November 21with prizes that include Android devices and up to $20,000. Details here.

EDIT: Google also has an Africa Connected challenge in which content creators can win $25,000. Deadline is October 31. 

Green Card The annual US Diversity Immigrant Visa 2015 program a.k.a green card lottery is now open making available 55,000 diversity visas to a randomly selected group of applicants. Deadline is 2 November. 

Innovation prize for Africa (IPA)invites African entrepreneurs and innovators to propose projects that unlock new African potential in (i) Agriculture & agribusiness, (ii) Environment, energy & water (iii)  Health & well-being, (iv) ICT applications (v) Manufacturing &  service industries. The winning submission will be awarded a prize of $100,000 with two additional $25,000 ones for the runners up as measured by business potential and social impact. Deadline is  31 October

Making All Voices Count is a $55 million global initiative that supports innovation, scaling-up and research to deepen existing innovations and harness technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness. Some prizes will be in the area of innovation (40 grants a year of $15,000 - 60,000) , Scaling (16 grants per year of $60,000 - 160,000), Research (open and granted research) and Global Action.

It is open to applicants from 12 countries in Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique) and others in South East Asia - and ideal proposals should touch on gender, grassroots, and government, and must be submitted through the website by November 8, 2013.

EDIT: TRAC is the Trademark East Africa Challenge Fund that offers grant funds of between $250,000 - $350,000 to private companies in support of innovative projects that can boost trade in both East Africa, and the region's trade with the world. Details here and the deadline is 18 November 2013.

Young Achievers Awards is an annual event where young successful Ugandans are recognized and awarded for their excellence and initiative in the areas of business, science and technology, agriculture and outstanding talent and leadership. Deadline is 30 October and details are here.

Share other available opportunities here.

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