Augmented Reality dominates UNESCO World Heritage Futures Lab

...using augmented reality for cultural preservation
Creative technologists and indigenous communities from 20 African countries took part in a three-day UNESCO World Heritage Futures Lab. The Lab required the participants to narrate the history of World Heritage sites using Virtual Reality (VR) applications. The event was held at NUST’s tech ecosystem, formally referred to as the High-Tech Transfer Plaza Select (HTTPS), as it directly aligns to the HTTPS’s goal to enhance capacities in immersive digital technologies.

Deputy Executive Director for the Lifelong Learning Department from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (left) enjoying a virtual reality experience guided by Selma Auala, a student from the Faculty of Computing and Informatics.Africa’s Pride

World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. There are several such sites worldwide and Namibia is proudly home to some, such as the Twyfelfontein and the Namib Sand Sea. “Technology and innovation can be conduits for digital growth, socioeconomic advancement and information access,” said Marly Muudeni Samuel, a creative Technologist and NUST alumnus who represented Namibia. Avuzwa Ntshongwana, a co-founder of a gaming studio represented South Africa. She highlighted her passion for technology which has led her to building a game based on African culture and history.

Community Engagement

“We value the preservation of our African heritage, evidenced by the various digitalisation projects we run in tandem with indigenous communities. Through the Faculty of Computing and Informatics, we recently developed our first Virtual Reality application to safeguard San cultural practices: The hunting of a Kudu,” remarked the NUST Vice-Chancellor, Dr Erold Naomab. From an educational perspective, VR technology has the potential to revolutionise education by providing immersive and interactive learning experiences, and it can be used to create virtual classrooms, simulations, and other educational environments that can enhance learning.

Mr Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, the UNESCO Representative to Namibia, placed emphasis on the value of cultural heritage and that the World Heritage Futures Lab forms part the of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the UNESCO 1972 Convention.


The Lab facilitated the development and dissemination of dynamic digital content and products for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world’s heritage. The project will continue throughout the year and production funding and exhibition opportunities will be availed.

The event was organised and sponsored by UNESCO, with support from partners such as NUST, MTC and Electric South.

Monday, January 30, 2023
for Month: 
January, 2023

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