About the Africa Innovation Mradi
The Africa Innovation Mradi is a pan-Mozillian program that aims to leverage Mozilla’s role as stewards of the open web to promote models of innovation that are grounded in the unique needs of users in the African continent. The programme is exploring and developing new technology and products by establishing a network of partners and building a community to support these models.
In addition, the Africa Mradi incorporates a regional focus on the development and governance of technologies and the impact this has on social justice issues, both on and offline. Through joint and independent interventions carried out by the Mozilla Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation, it seeks to make an impact across three interlinked focus areas (work streams):
- Strengthening local innovation ecosystems in the Global Majority
- Build products for real life
- Movement building
Mozilla is among the few technology companies working towards the creation of a healthy internet. Mozilla is committed to an internet that includes all the peoples of the earth — where a person’s demographic characteristics do not determine their online access, opportunities, or quality of experience. Africa Mradi affords Mozilla the opportunity to operationalise the organization’s manifesto in the African continent. Mozilla is in a position to provide sustainable support to Africa’s growing technological ecosystem and work with local innovators to not mainly consume technological products, but further integrate technology in the application of day-to-day life.
The Africa Mradi provides Mozilla an opportunity to use our unique identity as both a tech company and movement-building organisation to commit resources and collaborate with diverse communities to invest in the growing Africa-led technological innovation sector. Through joint and individual interventions carried out by MoCo and MoFo, we are combining our strengths in product and power, platform and voice, to work alongside African partners to strengthen a healthy internet ecosystem across our four interlinked areas.
What is Africa Mradi’s Approach and Strategy?
Our approach to this work is driven by local needs, supporting local voices and entrepreneurs, and solving local problems. Our model is centered around fostering meaningful partnerships with local stakeholders in the region, building trust and brand awareness of Mozilla, our products, and our values. Our goals are to generate product development, build community, build capacity, and produce a meaningful impact on the African internet ecosystem. The initiative will directly work with African entrepreneurs, developers, individuals, and international/national governmental and civil society organisations, among others, to support solutions that best address the intersection of our internet health priorities and real-world African internet user needs.
With an initial focus on Eastern and Southern Africa, the overall Africa Mradi strategy is anchored on four main goals linked to four work streams:
- Identify and support new tech by African innovators; (Powering innovation in the global majority - Mozilla Corporation)
- Adapt Mozilla´s products to the African context and real African user needs; (Product innovation & localization - Mozilla Corporation)
- Advance policy and advocacy that addresses internet health; (Policy and advocacy - Mozilla Corporation + Mozilla Foundation) and
- Build and grow the network of leaders working towards internet health (Movement building - Mozilla Foundation)
What we fund
- Common Voice
- In Real Life Fund
- Fellowships - Abeba Birhane, Brian Obilo,Neema Iyer, Odanga Madung.
- Creative Media Awards
- Responsible Computing Challenge
Read the Mradi one pager here.
Africa Mradi Pillars
The Africa Mradi is based on three strategic pillars, or work streams. Informed by interviews with dozens of partners from the region, the distinct work streams address key focus areas for the Mradi and connect together through strategic synergies.
Strengthening local innovation ecosystems in the Global Majority
Catalyse new and responsible technology development with African entrepreneurs that furthers the values of openness. Identify and support African innovators, entrepreneurs and developers working on internet health issues. Continue to advocate for policies, laws and regulations that create an enabling environment for a healthy, joyful internet that is open and accessible to all.
Build products for real life
Partner with local entrepreneurs, businesses, organisations and governments to adapt Mozilla products to the needs of African communities to tailor and improve the value proposition that Mozilla provides to users in the region. In addition, identify and invest in new products and solutions from the region.
We collaborate with mobilised African communities by leveraging our resources through partnerships and knowledge-sharing, accompanying partners by providing grants, fellowship opportunities, convening power, research, and advocacy. Our aim is to highlight and confront the harms and silos caused by technology and artificial intelligence to collectively build a healthier internet ecosystem.
- July 2023: MozFest House Kenya Will Mobilize African Communities Around Trustworthy AI
- July 2023: Africa Innovation Mradi Research Grants Will Examine AI’s Impact on the Continent
- May 2023: Introducing Africa Innovation Mradi’s First ‘In Real Life Fund’ Cohort
- April 2023: Reflections on Africa Mradi’s Intersectional Grantmaking
- November 2022: Going Mozilla's Africa Innovation Mradi Focus
- November 2022: Mozilla’s Africa Innovation Mradi Introduces Its ‘In Real Life’ Fund
- March 2022: Common Voice Announces $400,000 in Awards for Kiswahili Voice Technologies
- October 2021: Powering Local Innovation in the Global South: Prospects and a Way Forward
- May 2021: Mozilla Common Voice Receives $3.4 Million Investment to Democratize and Diversify Voice Tech in East Africa
- February 2019: Kenya Government mandates DNA-linked national ID, without data protection law
Africa Innovation Mradi in the News
- Mozilla Foundation Africa Innovation Mradi: In Real Life Fund
- Media stakeholders to converge in Nairobi for inaugural festival
- Mozilla to ride on Kenya as it makes Africa comeback
- What Does It Mean To Reimagine the Web? Meet The Tech Company Set on Changing the Default
- $400K Grants for Kiswahili-Mozilla Common Voice
- Mozilla Creative Media Awards – Apply Now!