OK, so there are still some hurdles to jump before the 40 finalists in the inaugural African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC) are whittled down to the 20 or so winners in this prestigious competition. Still, the next round should be really productive and interesting as the finalists meet in Zanzibar to work on their pitches and products ahead of the November 10 announcement of winners in Dakar later this year.
Leary of technology for technology's sake, and of solutions that have little prospect of scaling, Justin Arenstein's involvement in the selection process should ensure that the jury have some really substantial innovations from which to choose.
There are a sprinkling of mobile oriented initiatives in the list and one that is IVR and community radio oriented that we'll be watching with interest: Using mBanking and IVR to increase revenue and community participation in local radio stations in Kenya
Good luck to everyone involved.