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

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

“We’re excited to bring Game Camp to Africa for a second year running and look forward to strengthening its impact within the gaming community through practical new additions to the programme. Africa has a long track-record of giving rise to top developer talent, and 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,” says Phyllis Migwi, Country Manager for Microsoft Kenya.

To help aspiring young creators overcome 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.

Off the back of the conference, multiple African-based studios signed up for Microsoft Founders Hub, with local creators such as Kunta Content, the first African Minecraft Marketplace developer, reaching new levels of success. The Nairobi developer has secured a partnership with the ID@Xbox Developer Acceleration Program to release an Xbox console version of their action game Hiru, which is based on African lore. International video game developers such as 343 Industries also acknowledged the innovative capabilities of local talent in Africa. The studio aims to tap into this potential to create a game development ecosystem with the capacity to contribute meaningfully to AAA game development via outsourcing, co-development, and other potential opportunities.

Now in its second year, Game Camp Africa will 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.

Using online learning resources, developers can take part remotely via Microsoft Teams as well as through three open-house locations across Africa, including Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Casablanca. These online resources include targeted training modules that closely match developers’ individual skills and interests. What’s more, participants can engage with these modules both before and after the event.

“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,” says Lillian Barnard, President of Microsoft Africa.

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.

Apply for the Xbox Game Camp Arica until 15 June 2024 here