Francesca McKenna 

After a degree in History of Art and English at Cambridge University, Francesca worked as a photo editor for international news agencies, first Agence France Press on their Asia desk in Hong Kong, followed by a seven year stint at Reuters on their Europe Middle East and Africa desk, then based in London. Having been born in Kenya, her growing interest in East Africa and its portrayal in the western media compelled her to move to Tanzania in 2002, a country she chose due to its position off the beaten track of the general news agenda.

After several years in its capital Dar es Salaam, working in publishing, advertising and as an editorial consultant, she moved to the island of Zanzibar and set up Akilipix ((Akili - (Kiswahili) noun - mind, intelligence, wisdom) in 2010, dedicated to combining her passion for photography and the written word, with particular focus on its ability to engage with the public by powerfully communicating social, cultural and historical issues and challenge stereotypical images of Africa.

Francesca's pictures and articles have been published in The Scottish Mail on Sunday, Expressen (Sweden), Swiss Architectural Magazine TECH 21, British Vogue, Conde Nast Traveller, Yoga UK and USA editions, and numerous East African publications, both newspapers and magazines. Her ongoing NGO clients have included the Zanzibar Outreach Program, The Touch Foundation (New York), Muhimbili Wellcome Program (Wellcome Trust, UK) and The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania. 

Issues of healthcare in Tanzania have been particularly close to her heart, most specifically as a mother herself, maternal and child health. Work for NGOs in this sector led to her ongoing involvement with scientists, healthcare workers and advocacy groups, in particular those working with Sickle Cell Disease, focussing on the role of research in Africa, global health and inequities of care, and developments in Genomic medicine to address the burden of Non-Communicable Disease.

Francesca is now based back in the UK studying an MA in History of Art with Photography at Birkbeck, University of London. 


Akilipix offers images and text for editorial and Public Engagement services, both as documentary coverage of one-off feature and news stories as well as longer-term campaigns integrated into both traditional and social media communication strategies.


Francesca's specialities are commercial and social portraiture, documentary photography and architecture.

Some of her work will be included in the Architectural Guide to Sub-Saharan Africa, edited by Philip Meuser with Adil Dalbai and Ingrid Stegmann, published by DOM and available later this year. 


Akilipix works with the best web professionals to develop creative and engaging websites, providing all content in the form of text and images, (either Francesca's own or commissioned) targeted at primary and secondary audiences and supported by relevant social media channels. e.g. http://www.zopzanzibar.org 


Francesca offers:

Ultra-thick Signature Prints - These set out to create a print that feels like a museum quality mat and premium print – all in one. The result: an ultra thick print with a textured matte eggshell finish.  (11 x 4") (8 x 10") (8 x 8") (5 x 7") From £40.

Large Format Fine Art Prints - premium quality inkjet prints, also known as giclée prints, printed on archival fine art paper – touting gallery-like quality and outstanding colour. (8-10" all the way up to 60 x 40") From £30. 

Everyday print sets - A print for every experience. Available in a wide array of sizes, this set of 25 textured, matte prints offer a high-quality look and feel that was made to honor the everyday. From £20






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