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The first African delegation at a global XR event

The first African delegation at a global XR event (Laval Virtual 2021)

VR/AR exhibition Laval Virtual will welcome the first African XR delegation on July 7-9.

Crédits photos : © Mohini Ufeli for Imisi 3D

The 23rd edition of Laval Virtual promises to be unique! Europe’s first VR/AR exhibition will welcome an African delegation a world first in a global XR event! The delegation is organized and supervised by Imisi 3D, a creation lab focused on building the XR ecosystem in Africa. 6 companies from various countries will be present on July 7-9.

Laval Virtual welcomes the African XR ecosystem

From July 7th to 9th, an African XR delegation is coming to VR/AR exhibition Laval Virtual. 6 companies working in the field of immersive technologies, and one student team, will form a pavilion during the event. It’s the first time an African delegation is coming to a major global XR event! Several countries (South Africa, Kenya, Egypt) and vertical topics (content creation, hardware, education) are represented.

The six African XR companies were selected after an open call launched by the Nigerian company Imisi 3D, and Laval Virtual. The goal is to showcase startups and more experienced players, representing the African XR ecosystem. The chosen student team was the winner of the 2020 AR/VR Africa hackathon which was held virtually for the first time last year.

  • Team Hewa (Kenya), student winners of the 2020 AR/VR Africa Hackathon
  • 5d VR (Egypt)
  • Eden (South Africa)
  • Guzo Technologies (Ethiopia)
  • Augmented Future (Rwanda)
  • DCX Digital Cultural Experience (Tunisia)

Bridging the gap between Africa and Europe

With this delegation, Imisi 3D hopes to promote the African XR ecosystem worldwide. The Laval Virtual exhibition attracts 10,000 international visitors each year. It’s an opportunity to showcase African companies to the eyes of the international VR/AR community. “The objective is to bridge the gap between the African and European ecosystems”, Judith Okonkwo explains.

Imisi 3D is driving an ecosystem of creators that focus their work on accelerating augmented and virtual reality in Africa. To complete this mission, the Nigeria-based company is using multiple approaches. One of them is to create opportunities for access to VR throughout the continent and invite people to engage with the technology, and build with it. They also work on creating a community of XR creators online, via Facebook groups, and offline with meet-ups. Imisi 3D also operates in the education sector, integrating learning programmes and installing VR labs in schools. The other main goal is to connect African XR players with the other ecosystems of the world.

The landscape of African XR ecosystem

The visit of the delegation at Laval Virtual Europe 2021 is an answer to this mission: to connect African and European XR ecosystems. This delegation trip is a premiere in Europe, especially in a global pandemic context: “the first of its time and hopefully the first of many”, says Judith Okonkwo, filled with enthusiasm.

On May 25th, and on the occasion of Africa Day, Imisi 3D is working with collaborators across the continent to release a preview of a report with a landscape of the African XR ecosystem. The report gathers companies, startups, freelancers and academics working in the field of immersive technologies in Africa. The first preview of this report focuses on the English-speaking part of Africa but it will incorporate Francophone players secondly.

The report highlights the challenges and opportunities the African players face, and the future of tech on the continent. The goal of publishing this landscape is to identify all the actors, start an XR network in Africa and raise awareness of what Africa is doing in XR.

About author

Content editor at Laval Virtual. Obsessed with adverbs and punctuation, synonyms and keywords are my daily guides. I hunt innovative use cases about VR/AR and immersive tech.
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The 23rd edition of Laval Virtual to be held in July 2021