Spotify announces “first-of-its-kind” podcast fund for African creators

Africa Podcast Fund will distribute $100,000 to 13 podcasters across Africa

Global streaming platform Spotify announced that it has invested $100,000 into the Africa Podcast Fund, in an initiative to support the careers of creators in countries across the continent with the highest podcast listenership. 

The funds will be awarded at Africa Podfest 2023 to 13 independent podcasters across Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. The festival, which is based in Nairobi, Kenya, aims to bring together people across Africa in the podcasting industry, both in-person and online.

“Africa Podfest is excited about the development of podcasting in Africa, particularly because the medium allows underrepresented African voices to tell the story of Africa,” said co-director of Africa Podfest, Melissa Mbugua. 

The winners cover a variety of genres including pop culture like F&S Uncensored, lifestyle relationships like Si Maman M’avait Dit [If My Mom Had Told Me), identity like The Journey Kwantu, and more. The podcasts also include six languages and come from a range of different backgrounds. 

In February 2022, CEO of Spotify Daniel EK said in a statement that the company would invest $100m into funding content from audio content creators from “historically marginalised groups” to support their career. 

The pledge came after Spotify faced a backlash after signing a deal with Joe Rogan to host his podcast exclusively on the platform, due the podcaster’s use of racist language in earlier episodes, which have since been removed.