Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communications through the state sanctioned Kenya ICT Board is making calls for proposals for the Tandaa Digital Content Grant. The main aim of the grant is to spur the local content scene but there have been complaints that the 2010 Tandaa Local Content grant was awarded to mostly foreigners who developed applications just to win the grant.
Kenya ICT Board in the announcement says that “the grant is offered to Kenyan citizens and companies registered in Kenya for the development of innovative web or mobile phone applications.” Many foreigners have rushed to register companies locally just to win the grant competition and close shop immediately the whole amount is transferred to their briefcase companies. There should be a minimum amount of local shareholding for this issue of “locally registered companies” to work.
Companies will be awarded grants of up to $ 50,000 while individuals will win up to $ 10,000 in the grants. Around 15 entities were awarded grants in 2010 but the number is expected to jump to 30 in 2011.
The two award categories are the;
- Private sector innovation
- Government data applications
It would be interesting to see how the Kenya ICT Board will handle this call for application but past experiences has shown a board not ready to accept challenges.