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Meta backs African VR and AR talent

Applications are open for the AR/VR Africa Metathon in partnership with Imisi 3D and Black Rhino VR

Meta has opened applications for an AR/VR Africa Metathon, a series of programmes aimed at supporting African XR talents to build innovative solutions that demonstrate various use cases of the metaverse in Africa.

The programme runs under the Meta global XR fund, and ir being conducted in partnership with Imisi 3D and BlackRhino VR. It will feature three major components: a training program; an Africa-wide hackathon across 16 countries physically, and open to everyone virtually; and an intensive bootcamp to further develop solutions. It will run from mid-August 2022 to April 2023. 

Phil Oduor, policy programs lead for Africa at Meta, says: “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.

 “The XR Programs and Research Fund is a two-year $50-million investment into programs and external research focused on building the metaverse responsibly. Through this fund, we are collaborating with industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, nonprofits and academic institutions to determine how to build these technologies responsibly. 

“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.” 

Judith Okonkwo, the founder of Imisi 3D and AR/VR Africa, says: “This year’s AR/VR Africa Metathon brings together our AR/VR Africa pre-hackathon training, hackathon, and Bootcamp in one programme. Working with partners in 16 countries, it is our biggest and most ambitious event yet providing even greater access for XR.

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