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Meta Looks to Boost Virtual Reality in Africa’s Storytelling

Image sourced from ABC News.

Africa No Filter, a narrative change organisation, and Meta, formerly Facebook, have announced a partnership to launch “Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds” program, aimed at boosting the use of Virtual Reality in Africa’s storytelling.

Supporting Extended Reality storytellers to develop new and compelling content about Africa, the program will provide grants and mentorship. “Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds” forms part of Meta’s focus on immersive technologies and Africa No Filter’s investments in innovative storytelling that shifts negative stereotypes about Africa.

Moky Makura, ED at Africa No Filter, said, “Virtual Reality has the potential to take storytelling to another level. In this new metaverse, audiences don’t just get to watch a story unfold, they get to live in it. This is an opportunity for African content creators to push the boundaries of their creativity and innovation.”

Open from today, Africa No Filter and Meta are inviting Extended Reality creators to apply to the program, and receive funding of up to $30,000. Applicants must be of African descent and living in the continent, aged over 18 years, have a track record of XR content creation and have a portfolio of work showing their creativity and innovation.

They also need to show how the proposed project will tell an exciting African story that changes stereotypical narratives about the continent. Projects can use 360 Video, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. The application is open to organisations and individuals.

Delivered in collaboration with Electric South and Imisi 3D, participants will also get ongoing mentorship, production support, and opportunities to launch their projects in a virtual or in-person showcase, including the Electric South’s Creators Lab held in February 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Commenting, Sherry Dzinoreva, Meta’s Public Policy Programs Director, Africa, Middle East, and Turkey said: “We’re excited to be partnering with ANF to launch a fund that brings together the best of the African tech ecosystem to showcase innovations for the future and tell positive stories about Africa. Meta sits at the intersection of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and social connection, and this investment is a vote of confidence in the strength of the African tech industry and its ongoing potential. I’m certainly proud that Africa will be helping to shape the metaverse experience from the start.”

Applications close on 7 January 2022 at 6pm GMT. The program runs from 13 February to 13 August, 2022. Participants must be available on these dates. The proposed project must also be completed within six months.

Those interested can apply here.

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