Digital Lab Africa will launch its 3rd edition at DISCOP in Johannesburg (November 14-16), with an official call for entries and press conference on Nov. 15, in the presence of DLA partners and three previous editions’ winners (Baya Ciamala, DRC; Feben Elias, Ethiopia; and Jabulile Newman, South Africa).
After the call, applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa who are digital content artists, producers, designers, start-ups, SMEs, collectives, students or entrepreneurs can submit projects visa www.digilabafrica.com. The projects need to be innovative from the perspective of form, storytelling, content and technologies used, in one of five categories: web creation, virtual reality, gaming, digital music or animation.
Digital Lab Africa is a springboard and incubation platform for African creatives in digital content. Initiated by the Embassy of France & French Institute in South Africa in 2016, the program is managed by the South African innovation hub Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct since 2018. The 3rd edition will be for the first time a full-fledged program of the Digital Content Hub of Tshimologong, which is supported by the Agence Française de Développement. Support for the program and participating creators is also provided by leading French and Sub-Saharan African companies like Triggerfish Animation, ARTE, TRACE or Lagardère Studios.
For Lesley Donna Williams, Chief Executive of the Tshimologong Precinct, DLA ties in with Tshimologong’s vision of “Africa Rising”: “The call for a greater volume of authentic African voice in the global digital space is growing and we are well poised with our relationship with the DLA and through our Digital Content Hub to fill that gap with meaningful content.”
“The French Embassy and the French Institute in South Africa are pleased to launch the third call for applications of Digital Lab Africa alongside two new high quality partners: the Digital Content Hub of Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The ecosystem of Tshimologong associated with the more than 40 French and African key players of the cultural industries partners of DLA offer a very promising and dynamic environment for this 3rd edition,” said Christophe Farnaud, Ambassador of France in South Africa.
“DISCOP is committed to empowering young creators and enriching Africa’s multiscreen ecosystems. Our partnership with Digital Lab Africa is a great way for DISCOP to address the numerous gaps across the development of a sound multimedia sector in Africa,” added Patrick Zuchowicki, CEO of DISCOP.
Selected project creators will receive a 42,000ZAR cash prize and a Digital Lab Africa Incubation Pass to accelerate development. Each participant will be mentored by both French and African experts to benefit from the expertise of several ecosystems. DLA mentees will also take part in residency programs within digital clusters and participate in industry events in France or in Sub-Saharan Africa. The expected outcome of Digital Lab Africa is market-ready content/productions showcasing African creativity at its best.
During the second edition, DLA received +700 entries from over 30 Sub-Saharan African countries. Since the beginning of the initiative, 15 projects from Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia have been awarded and incubated by DLA.