Games Industry Africa Awards (GIAA) is an initiative to recognise, celebrate as well as promote the diverse portfolio of video games from the continent annually. Africa is large, but the games industry is still relatively nascent compared to its geographical contemporaries. An acknowledgement of the pool of talent is a way to aid continuous growth as well as inspire the next generation of creators and developers. These are the winners of the first Games Industry Africa Awards.
Most impactful Mobile Game
Games of an established IP tend to be hit and miss. However, with hugely positive reviews, an absorbing gameplay and currently unmatched mobile commercial success built on the backs of a strong francophone focused marketing campaign, the winner – Aurion: Kajuta Gems Fighter.
Educational initiative of the year
Whilst by definition not an educational initiative, the winner of this award is driven by a desire to highlight, teach and educate on the many unseen talents across the continent. It’s created a platform that puts a marginalized demographic at the forefront and helped elevate some truly outstanding talents. For that reason Prosearium is the winner.
Event of the year
The winner of this award has established itself as the defacto gateway to the African games industry. Initially focused on one segment of the continent, it has through tireless work helped spotlight the possibilities and opportunities of gaming across the continent. In a space that has had to overcome pretty challenging obstacles during the pandemic, it has evolved and continues to be the gold standard as it embraces a more pan-African perspective. The recipient of the Event of the Year is Africa Games Week.
Industry innovation of the year
An industry thrives on its ability to inspire and break new ground. There is currently no better barometer for the games industry than its ability to sway those in positions of authority as to its merits. A feat achieved by the winner of this award. The winner of this award is Kiro’o Games for Rebuntu.
Mentor of the year
A bundle of energy with an insatiable appetite for new challenges, the winner of this award may have changed job titles, but their singular focus to highlighting the rich diversity of the African gaming talent pool remains untarnished. Our mentor of the year is Johana Riquier.
GIAA One to Watch (Public vote)
Dungeon Crawler – Estelle Makhoba / Kate Howell / Joe Ruotolo (South Africa)
Debut of the year
From an original PC title to comics and a possible foray into televisual experience has showcased the staying power of this title, but it’s ability to offer a truly engrossing experience for all ages whilst also being a commercial success shows the staying power and value of a well executed long term vision. The debut of the year is Aurion: Kajuta Gems Fighters.
2021 GIA Icon
The winner of this award has been the purveyor of many firsts in their country and across the continent. They are a passionate champion of all things African and has devoted their entire career to hail the promise of Africa’s talent over the past decade, culminating in a unique involvement with Riot earlier this year. Our 2021 Games Industry Africa icon is Eyram Tawia.
Team of the year
Overcoming insurmountable odds.The very definition of an indigenous game studio that has fashioned tools that with a higher degree of difficulty has been able to generate excitement around their games, their brands and most importantly investment interest in the region. Our team of the year is Kiro’o Games.
Person(s) of the year
In a year with a lot of standout personalities, the winner of this award not only achieved relative success of their company by dedicating their time and resources to helping shape the visions of a new generation of creators in an incredibly difficult climate. Education is a critical factor to spur industry growth and with Google Game Camp targeting developers across multiple countries this person helped make significant strides. Our person of the year is Hugo Obi from Maliyo Games.