Africa Innovation Mradi In Real Life (IRL) Fund


Relevent Country: South Africa

The Mozilla has launched the In Real Life (IRL) Fund to support movement building efforts contributing to the development, utility and governance of technologies because of the impact each has on issues of social justice, both on and offline.

The IRL Fund supports initiatives, projects and strategies led by African organizations that contribute towards a healthy internet. Specifically, they seek ideas that strengthen digital and human rights and impact communities “In Real Life”. This is a new, exploratory grantmaking mechanism intended to build a cohort of partners working on initiatives that address real challenges in the African continent.


Through the IRL Fund, they hope to:

  • Connect technologists, entrepreneurs, civil society and policy makers who are addressing the impact of technology on social justice issues. And, to share knowledge and perspectives across disciplines with a focus on developing values-driven solutions.
  • Accelerate the work of “front runners” of the internet health movement, especially those already connected to, interacting with, and informed by lived experience, who can speak to and represent the needs and ideals of the ordinary citizen in the internet environment.
  • Support priorities articulated by partners and those emerging from convening processes: create spaces for sharing and/or defining the most promising “home-grown” initiatives, projects and strategies and channel resources towards those prioritized by partners.
  • Document and showcase innovations already happening across sectors in order to share learnings, inspire others, build momentum and attract more actors and potential funders.
  • Support strategic engagement and networking to increase visibility and representation of African organizations within digital rights groups, technology communities, regional and continental regulator convenings and internet governance forums.
  • Partner with those who can reach and represent marginalized communities: connecting with those largely left out of the digital rights conversations, including those who are unemployed, have not had formal education, women, LGBTQI+ communities and people with disabilities.
  • Strengthen initiatives that focus on the impact of technology on the work of civil society organizations with an emphasis on organizations that have an understanding of how internet health and AI play a role in their work, and/or can build public awareness.
  • Support the capacity building of institutions aligned with / contributing to internet health priorities on the continent to build institutional and leadership capacity, and digital resilience, of those that are poised to have enhanced impact with the right support

Types of Grants and Eligibility

Pamoja (Together) – $50k USD

  • They seek to invest in the intentional organic connections between and across the respective movements and geographies by supporting collaborative work between organizations and/or across geographies.
  • This grant is fifty thousand US dollars for a 12-month period.

Eligibility criteria

  • Collaboration between 2+organizations or a network based/working in Kenya or South Africa, at least one of whom is legally registered in the country of focus and has been in operation for 3+ years; or
  • Pan African networks/art or media-based collectives whose proposed work includes a focus in Kenya and South Africa. The organization applying on behalf of the network or collective should be legally registered in at least one country of focus and has been in operation for 3+ years; and
  • All applicants should have a strategy in place that seeks to integrate digital resilience or technology related innovation/advocacy.

Nguvu (Strengthen) – $25k USD

  • This award track seeks to fortify the ability of organizations and collectives to innovate, create and sustain their efforts. Organizations applying for this award are encouraged to include identified opportunities for intersectional collaboration with other actors and/or across movements.
  • This grant is twenty-five thousand US dollars for a 12 month period.

Eligibility criteria

  • Open to individual organization and/or collaboration between 2+organizations working in Kenya and South Africa;
  • This award can be for project-based collaboration between for profit and not for profit organizations. The applicant would be the not-for-profit organization;
  • Arts or media-based collectives/Pan African networks/collectives with work in Kenya and South Africa;
  • Applying entity should be legally registered in the country of focus and in operation for 2+ years; and
  • All applicants should have a strategy in place that seeks to integrate digital resilience or technology related innovation/advocacy.

Nia (Path) -$15k USD

  • This award track is open to work in the African continent that seeks to illuminate, address or rectify societal inequalities that are reified, exacerbated or originated in digital terrain. They are particularly interested in applications looking to take a new or experimental approach to finding solutions or contextual movement responses to the issues they are addressing.
  • This grant is fifteen thousand US dollars and can be for a grant term of up to 12 months. They invite you to suggest a timeline that makes the most sense for your work.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to individual organization, a collaboration between 2+organizations, or a network/collective from anywhere on the continent of Africa; and
  • Legally registered in the country of work. If not legally registered, has a fiscal host that is legally registered.

Note: To apply for this grant, you are:

  • Not for profit social justice/civil society organizations; or
  • Journalist/media-based institutions; or
  • Art based organizations; or
  • Academic or research focused institutions; or
  • Technology/digital rights focused not for profit orgs; or
  • Network/collective/collaborations comprised of the above


  • Projects managed by a for-profit organization which are not licensed for use under an open-source license
  • Projects not located on the African continent
  • Mozilla Foundation employees, Mozilla Corporation employees, contractors of either the Mozilla Foundation or the Mozilla Corporation and their immediate family members
  • Corporations in which a Mozilla Foundation employee, Mozilla Corporation employee, or their immediate family members has an ownership stake