By Juliet Umeh

The parent body of social media platforms, Meta, in partnership with Virtual Reality education platforms, Imisi 3D, has announced that African youths can now apply for the AR/VR Africa Metathon to encourage creative technologists.

The Augmented Reality, AR, Virtual Reality, VR, Africa Metathon is a series of programmes and activations under the Meta global extended reality, XR fund, aimed at supporting African XR talents to build innovative solutions that demonstrate various use cases of the metaverse in Africa.

Meta said the AR/VR 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.

These components will run from Mid-August to April 2023.

Policy Programmes Lead for Africa at Meta, Phil Oduor, said: “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 Programmes 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.”

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