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Meta opens up applications for metaverse developers in Africa

by Val Lukhanyu
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Meta has opened applications for African developers to enable them to build innovative solutions that demonstrate various use cases of the metaverse in the African continent.

The hackathon targets developers, programmers, UI/UX designers, artists, animators, storytellers, professionals and students.

Meta says, the Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality Metathon will feature three major components including a training programme, an Africa-wide hackathon which will take place across 16 countries in Africa physically and open to everyone virtually, followed by an intensive Bootcamp to further develop solutions beginning August this year to April 2023.

Under the two-year $50 million Meta Global XR Fund, Meta has partnered with Imisi 3D and BlackRhino VR to launch the AR/VR Africa Metathon.

“The AR/VR Africa Metathon is an opportunity to demonstrate how artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality technologies that have been around for decades, are core to the future of the metaverse and what Africans are building in the industry,” said Phil Oduor, Meta Policy Programs Lead for Africa.

Oduor says the fund will focus on investing in programs and external research in order to build the metaverse responsibly through collaboration with industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, nonprofits and academic institutions

He added, “This is why we have partnered with Imisi 3D and BlackRhino VR, an extended reality ecosystem developer and a virtual reality production company, who represent Africa’s creative and innovative landscape, to launch this program to support African XR talent who are building innovative solutions that demonstrate the various aspects of the metaverse in Africa.”

Imisi 3D & AR/VR Africa Judith Okonkwo said the partnership will help increase access to Extended Reality (XR) in Africa, accelerating XR talent, showcasing African XR solutions and creating pathways for careers and industry.

“Six years after our first hackathon, and following subsequent events in over 28 countries across the continent, we are especially thrilled to be partnering with Meta and BlackRhino VR for the 2022 edition. This year’s AR/VR Africa Metathon brings together our AR/VR Africa pre-hackathon training, hackathon, and boot camp in one programme,” said Okonkwo.

Similarly, BlackRhino VR Co-founder and Managing Director Brian Afande said the Metathon will encourage exploration and discovery among young African creative technologists who will have the opportunity to develop Afrocentric XR use cases that will tackle some of the unique challenges they are facing in the continent.

“This type of collaboration is what Africa needs to highlight the potential of new and untapped socioeconomic opportunities created by XR Technologies,” he added.

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