Social Media Company Meta and Africa No Filter (ANF), a narrative change organisation, have announced a partnership to launch a program aimed at boosting the use of Virtual Reality in Africa’s storytelling.
The program “Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds” will support Extended Reality storytellers to develop new and compelling content about Africa by providing them with grants, mentorship, and production support.
Commenting on the partnership, 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.”
Moky Makura, Executive Director at Africa No Filter, stated, “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.”
Successful applicants (Extended Reality creators) will receive funding of up to $30,000. They must be of African descent living in the continent, aged over 18 years, and have a track record of XR content creation as well as a portfolio of work showing their creativity and innovation.
They also need to demonstrate 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.
Applications close on 7 January 2022. The program runs from 13 February to 13 August 2022.
During the rebranding of Facebook to Meta, the Company promised to partner with collaborators to develop the Metaverse.
“Metaverse will not be created by one company. It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies,” Mark Zuckerberg said.