Facebook parent company Meta, together with Africa No Filter, has announced the six winners of content creation challenge, the “Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds”.
The initiative is focused on harnessing and investing in the next generation of extended reality (XR) technology creators in Africa.
XR is an umbrella term used for virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, as well as all future realities such technology might bring.
The winners of Meta’s XR challenge were selected from Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Cameroon and Kenya.
The six are Xabiso Vili, SA; Nirma Madhoo, Mauritius; Michelle Angawa, Kenya; Malik Afegbua, Nigeria; Lara Sousa, Mozambique; and Pierre-Christophe Gam, Cameroon.
Each winner of the XR challenge will be supported with funding of up to $30 000 and also participate in XR industry events to improve their creativity and drive interest in their projects.
“This specially curated programme is an opportunity to support African storytellers who are leveraging the power of the next evolution of social technology, whilst also shining a spotlight on the amazing, creative and diverse talent pool we have here on the continent,” says Sherry Dzinoreva, Meta public policy programmes director for Africa, Middle East and Turkey.
“We understand the power of extended reality and how it can be used to tell stories that shift narratives about and within the continent − and we’re excited to see these visions come to life.”
In the case of Africa No Filter, which is invested in community building and advocacy by supporting storytellers, the company says “it’s reassuring to see the amount of incredible XR talent on the African continent”.
Jessica Hagan, arts and culture programme lead at Africa No Filter, comments: “The creativity and innovation we encountered in the selection process has been very exciting. It shows Africa is also on the pulse of global innovation and tech trends that are redefining how stories are told and experienced. XR content creation is costly, but African creators are not falling behind.”
Meta is expanding opportunities for content creators − recently extending Facebook Reels for iOS and Android to more than 20 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, helping content creators earn income from its platform.