The fifth edition of Digital Lab Africa, the first mentorship and incubation program for African creatives in innovative and digital content, has launched its next call for applications. DLA is calling on artists, producers, designers, collectives, students or entrepreneurs from both creative and cultural industries, including from across Sub-Saharan Africa to apply.
DLA aims to incubate emerging talent by offering them a springboard to jump-start and accelerate their projects with the support and expertise of the DLA ecosystem. Led and managed by Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct with the support of the AFD (Agence Française de Développement).
The Pan African accelerator focuses on 5 key categories: Immersive Experience, Video Games, Music, Animation and Digital Art. The programme initiated five years ago by the French Institute in South Africa (IFAS) is also supported by SACEM, TRACE, TV5 Monde Afrique, the French Embassy in Nigeria, as well as IFAS, amongst others.
Applications for the animation and immersive experience (XR) categories are now open and close on 4 April, while applications for video, digital art, and music categories can be submitted between 17 May and 11 July.
Selected applicants are granted with a Digital Lab Africa online incubation program (as per the category) to fast track the
development of their respective project. The online incubation and mentorship programs combine group and individual sessions that will help DLA#5 laureates to work on identified needs, and strengthen their projects to fast-track its development. It includes:
– Online mentorship & coaching by French and Sub-Saharan African experts
– Online workshops organised by key players of the digital creative industry
– Participation to online industry events
In 2020, DLA received more than 500 applications from over 32 countries. For its fifth edition, Digital Lab Africa is switching to a fully online format. The incubation and mentorship programs followed by the DLA#5 laureates will include online activities, online mentorship, and participation to online industry events.
Chief Executive of the Tshimologong Precinct, Lesley Donna Williams, says the DLA applications reflect the vitality and uniqueness of the African continent in the field of digital cultures and new technologies. “Each year the level innovation in terms of form, storytelling, content and technologies gets better. We expect DLA#5 to once again exceed our expectations and look forward to receiving applications.”
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