As Facebook rebrands to Meta, a company now focused on leveraging virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), a lot of buzz and questions have been raised. Africa’s role in the development of the metaverse, a virtual world, that Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg believes will change how we socialise, create and live, has come under a wave of speculations. With key theme surrounding which African companies will help build the Metaverse
However, discussing Africa’s place in the creation of the Metaverse, Facebook stated: “The metaverse won’t be built overnight by a single company. We’ll collaborate with policymakers, experts and industry partners to bring this to life. We’re announcing a $50 million investment in global research and program partners to ensure these products are developed responsibly. We’re working with the Organization of American States on job training and skills development for students, creators and small business owners.
Across Africa, we’re supporting Africa No Filter, Electric South and Imisi3D to support creators who have been pushing the boundaries of digital storytelling using immersive technology through “Amplifying African Voices.” With Women In Immersive Tech, we are supporting women and underrepresented groups driving Europe’s virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors. As a part of this effort, we are also facilitating independent external research with institutions across the globe.”
A brief look at the 3 disclosed African companies that will help build the Metaverse
Africa No Filter
Africa No Filter fosters the creation of detailed and modern stories that alter stereotypical and damaging narratives within and about Africa in order to change negative stereotypes about the continent.
By supporting storytellers, investing in media platforms, and driving disruption campaigns, Africa No Filter aims to expand the field of narrative change-makers through research, grants and advocacy.
Another African company empowering creatives in telling true African stories, Electric South will be helping to build the Metaverse. The South Africa-based company believes that new technologies must make room for unique voices and false narratives.
Through laboratories, production, and distribution, the firm engages with artists from all around Africa in emerging storytelling. Electric South supports a network of African artists by providing mentorship, production services, financing, and exhibition opportunities. Enabling them to explore their cultures through immersive, interactive narrative using virtual and augmented reality, as well as other digital technologies.
According to Electric Africa “If you want to change the world, change the stories”.
Imisi3d is a Nigeria-based creative lab for Extended Reality (XR) that aims to grow the XR ecosystem in Africa and beyond. They are committed to building a community of African AR/VR developers, creating AR/VR solutions, and offering educational and engaging AR/VR experiences. The tech company sees a lot of potential in AR/VR as a tool for supporting daily solutions, and people who want to transform the technology narrative so that Africa can be producers of technology instead of simply consumers.