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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Xbox Game Camp makes its return to Africa in July

The Xbox Game Camp, which will run from 16 July until 17 July 2024, celebrates game creators across Africa.

Microsoft, through its Africa Transformation Office (ATO), announced the second edition of Xbox Game Camp in Africa with a view to bolstering local developer talent and fast-tracking the growth of the continent’s gaming industry.

The two-day Xbox online conference, scheduled for 16th -17th July, will also include in-person events in Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Casablanca.

Kalane Rampai, Managing Director of Microsoft South Africa said the continent has a long track record of giving rise to top developer talent.

“We believe that affinity for producing tech talent can be harnessed to usher in a new era of exponential growth within the African gaming industry.”

Africa’s gaming industry

Africa is expected to become one of the fastest-growing gaming markets in the world, presenting a wealth of business and employment opportunities for the continent’s increasing young population.

The gaming industry in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is projected to reach $1 billion in revenue for the first time in 2024. The region’s video game market has shown promising growth over the past few years, bucking the downward trend in global video game activity.

In 2022, games sold in the region produced more than $862 million in revenue, representing an 8.7% increase year over year.

Home to the youngest population in the world, Africa’s wealth of emerging talent is expected to help drive continued momentum in game development, particularly as smartphone ownership is expected to reach 88% in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

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Challenges for African developers

The struggle for African developers to monetise gaming is also exacerbated by a major lack of awareness around the availability of games in Africa. In fact, according to GeoPoll’s Gaming in Africa 2024 Report, 56% of local gamers are completely unaware that games are developed in Africa.

To help aspiring young creators overcome these challenges and tap into the potential of Africa’s burgeoning gaming market, Game Camp aims to alleviate the financial burden that comes with video game development education by offering the conference free of charge to participants.

Microsoft is aiming to build on the considerable progress made by the first edition of Game Camp Africa, which was attended by 600 game developers across the continent.

Game Camp Africa

Now in its second year, Game Camp Africa will again feature workshops on various game development topics, providing young talent with the opportunity to learn from industry leaders. For the first time, participants will also have the opportunity to present gaming and business ideas to a panel of experts who will then provide them with focused mentorship and coaching.

Lillian Barnard, President of Microsoft Africa said there is extraordinary talent residing across the continent.

“However, many individuals lack access to the basic tools and resources needed to transform their expertise into successful ventures. To realise the vast potential presented by gaming, we must begin by narrowing the opportunity divide and levelling the playing field.

“We believe that by investing in initiatives such as Xbox Game Camp, we can help grow thriving gaming ecosystems by tapping into the amazing talent that has the potential to contribute positively to the broader economy,”  said Barnard.

To participate, individuals must be of legal age, reside in any country on the African continent and be studying or working part or full-time in the field of software development, visual arts, 3D, music and audio, web design, narrative design, or professional project management.

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