Africa Mradi

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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 four interlinked focus areas (work streams):

  • Product innovation & localization
  • Powering local innovation in the global majority
  • Policy and advocacy
  • Movement building


Why Mozilla

Mozilla is among the few technological 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.


The Africa Mradi Guiding Principles

  • We build with and not for. We collaborate with local partners and leverage existing expertise and capabilities to better understand local needs to inform the development and engagement with our products and movements. We adopt a non-extractive approach to our work by responding to the priorities as set by communities and by providing thoughtful, sustainable, long-term and impactful support.
  • We believe in allyship by identifying and working with a network of organizations and leaders in civil society, technology and policy across the continent who are influencing the development of regulatory, product, and industry norms to build a healthier internet.
  • We support ecosystems. There are no silver bullets; advancing our mission will require an ecosystem of allies. We have a unique opportunity to support and amplify the capacity of a wide range of allies and actors across the region to aid our collective efforts to solve internet health problems while working alongside them to show our commitment and be a partner from strategy development through execution.
  • We meet user needs. The technologies we build and support must be tailored to the needs and realities of users in this part of the world. Mozilla will not survive let alone thrive if we only build products for our legacy markets in North America and Northern Europe. We need to build the muscle of building tech that meets the needs of cost-conscious users using low-quality phones on prepaid plans often with limited electricity, bandwidth, and connectivity.
  • We solve real problems. This work is not about expanding our existing activities to a new part of the world just because we can; it’s about addressing core internet health issues where they arise and through the communities that are affected by them. While we may adapt or scale-up existing programs where there is a utility in doing so, our focus should be on addressing the intersection of internet health and the needs of the communities we seek to serve and partner with.


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:

  1. Identify and support new tech by African innovators; (Powering innovation in the global majority - Mozilla Corporation)
  2. Adapt Mozilla´s products to the African context and real African user needs; (Product innovation & localization - Mozilla Corporation)
  3. Advance policy and advocacy that addresses internet health; (Policy and advocacy - Mozilla Corporation + Mozilla Foundation) and
  4. Build and grow the network of leaders working towards internet health (Movement building - Mozilla Foundation)

Read the Mradi one pager in English, French, and Kiswahili.

You can also check out Mozilla's Manifesto translated into Kiswahili here.

Africa Mradi Pillars

The Africa Mradi is based on four 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.

Power Local Innovation

Build new tech that addresses real-life issues in the global south

Localise our existing products

To serve the real-life experiences of users in the Africa Region

Movement Building

Build the base and improve internet health

Policy and Regulation

Advance policies that promote a healthy and open internet

Current policy priorities include:

  • Access and Connectivity
  • Personal Data Protection/Privacy
  • Digital ID

Partners

Blog

Mradi blog forthcoming Read more on Mozilla's Policy Blog