US-based media firm to train young Rwandans

Six Rwandans will acquire media training from US based content and story sharing platform, Akoma.
Zain Verjee (L) and Chidi Afulezi in Kigali. / Courtesy.
Zain Verjee (L) and Chidi Afulezi in Kigali. / Courtesy.

Six Rwandans will acquire media training from US based content and story sharing platform, Akoma.

The beneficiaries were announced at an event held in Kigali on Thursday.


Founded by CNN veterans Chidi Afulezi and Zain Verjee, AKoma is an Africa-focused open source content platform and storytelling community where a combination of user generated and original content about Africa and its diaspora are created, published and shared with the world.


With a mission of building Africa’s content management system (CMS), the media company was developed with the long-term vision to become the centre of a thriving ecosystem of Africa focused content and media services such as photo galleries, short, mid and long-form video, branded content, blogging tools among others.


All this is powered by AKoma’s modern media stack that allows creators to build innovative creative products.

The six Rwandans will undergo “Amplify,” a 6-month paid fellowship facilitated by AKoma in partnership with Mastercard Foundation to groom Africa’s content producers and storytellers through a series of assignments, lectures and mentorship sessions.

The six Rwandans are part of the 25 Fellows from the continent who were selected to receive training, projects and mentoring in content creation and media.

When selecting, the company looked for young, aspiring content creators between 21-34 years old that showed significant passion for media and content development in the Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria, the three African countries where the programme exists currently.

According to Chidi Afulezi, the co-founder of Akoma, Rwanda was selected among the three countries because of the way it has positioned itself among the first growing countries as far as IT is concerned on the continent.

The young Rwandans will be taught in storytelling skills and tools, among other media techniques.

They will have online lectures as well as having occasional visits from a number of international mentors to provide the necessary guidance they need in constructing personal stories to appeal to wide audiences.

Besides receiving a monthly stipend and digital hardware as part of their program benefits, the company will also act as a platform for them to have their stories or videos shared with the world.

“We want every single African content creator who has something to say, something to show, to come and create on AKoma. It’s our job to bring your stories to the world,” said Verjee the CEO and co-founder of AKoma.

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