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Digital Lab Africa unveils the winners of its Fourth Edition

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Digital Lab Africa (DLA), a springboard and incubation platform for African creatives in digital content, announced the nine winners of its fourth edition during an online conference on 19 June, organised as part of the virtual 2020 Annecy Festival.

Choosing from more than 500 applications from 32 countries, the esteemed jury based its selection on artistic, technical and financial criteria in the five key categories: immersive realities, video games, music, animation and digital art. Selected applicants will be given a DLA Incubation Pass to fast track the development of their project. Alongside mentorship and training sessions, the DLA #4 winners will also be hosted in planned residencies in the relevant category ecosystems.

Tegan Bristow, director of the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival and member of the jury noted: “Most of the applicants’ projects this year were both very high level and very creative. They reflect the vitality and uniqueness of the African continent in the field of digital cultures and new technologies.”

“Participating in the DLA jury was a wonderful experience”, said Mounia Aram, Creative Entrepreneur and juror in the Animation category. “I am really proud to have joined the DLA ecosystem which now brings together a large community made up of experts, partners, mentors, and alumni. More than a program, Digital Lab Africa is positioning itself today as a real central and essential platform at the intersection of cultural and creative industries and digital economy in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The program, created four years ago by the French Institute in South Africa (IFAS), and run by South African technology hub Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, with support from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) had to adapt due to the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. While the call for applications ran smoothly, the residence times and participation in professional highlights earned by the winners were either postponed or transformed into virtual sessions.

Lesley Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Precinct, saw an opportunity to adapt the programs and activities of the incubator to better support entrepreneurs: “The brutal stopping of the economy and the lockdown experienced by a large part of people across the globe has shown to the world the importance for online platforms and content. Today, the reinvention of artistic forms, and of economic models of the cultural sector through digital and new technologies is essential. Digital Lab Africa is certainly one of the best platforms to stimulate and support the future players in this digital-cultural revolution in Africa. Hence, I am delighted that this 4th edition could be maintained, and I congratulate the winners who are joining the great family of DLA.”

And the DLA#4 winners are:

Animation category:

– Bokang Koatja (South Africa) / « Mannerisms »

– Natasha Nayo (Ghana) / « Message beats »

– Ridwan Moshood (Nigeria) / « In my hood »

Video game category:

– Robert Mensah (Nigeria) / « Outcome »

– Tristan Mocke (South Africa) / « Qyn »

Immersive realities category:

– Melisa Allela (Kenya) / « Sigana: Tales of Lawino »

– Joey Ekunwe (Nigeria) / « The slavery of science »

 

Music category:

– Sizo Hlophe (E-Swatini) / « Antidote music »

Digital art category:

– Lara Sousa (Mozambique) / « Katalina / Kalunga /Karonga – Sea Waved Tales »

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