The Mother City is gearing up to host the first and biggest gaming festival of its kind this week – Africa Games Week 2018.
Set to become an annual event, the inaugural festival takes place from 28 November 2018 to 2 December 2018 at the Castle of Good Hope. The festival is expecting up to 300 delegates – out of which 100 will be international guests with 50 delegates from the rest of Africa.
Following a lead from Wesgro’s Film and Media Promotion Unit, the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau helped secure the event for 2018. The event is supported by the South Africa National Convention Bureau and the City of Cape Town.
Comprised of four events including Make Games Africa, Playtopia, Google Play Developer Day and Nordic Game Discovery Contest – Africa Games Week is the umbrella event that will shine a spotlight on game development from across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Each with its own distinct programme, the events will focus on core aspects of the game development industry, imparting skills and best practice from industry experts whilst showcasing the quality games made on the African continent.
Creating opportunities for youth in the Province, Drakenstein Municipality in partnership with Wesgro’s Film and Media Promotion Unit together with Make Games SA, will be selecting 20 youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years old from the Drakenstein region to attend the Africa Games Week public event.
“The initiative comes as part of our agreement with Drakenstein Municipality to assist in promoting film, media and gaming opportunities in the municipality,” says Wesgro’s Head of Film and Media Promotion and Certified African Film Commissioner, Monica Rorvik, encouraging both public and industry professionals to attend the festival.
Calling on creatives in the region to submit a motivation as to why they should be chosen for this exciting opportunity – the 20 selected ambassadors will get to attend a masterclass at the Mbekweni Youth Centre on 30 November 2018 and attend the Playtopia event taking place on 1 December 2018.
Looking to leave a legacy, quarterly Make Games SA Meet-Ups will be arranged in the Drakenstein region following the event mentored by Make Games SA professionals.
Nicholas Hall from Make Games SA and Chairperson of Interactive Entertainment of South Africa, said: “We are excited to launch Africa Games Week here in the Cape and are hoping that it will give rise to more opportunities for people to enter and grow the games industry.”
The Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverly Schafer commented: “The Western Cape has set itself a goal of becoming a global tech hub and events like Africa Games Week, with its focus on both the professional conference, and the activations of youth and skills development in this industry, are helping us achieve this goal. A study commissioned by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape has indicated that there are 31 active game development companies in South Africa, with 17 of these based in Cape Town. The study found that there is a need for digital skills in this sector and we hope that their participation in Africa Games Week will inspire the 20 young people from the Drakenstein Municipality to pursue a career or studies in the digital realm and the growth of the digital economy.”
The Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Dan Plato, added: “While Cape Town is fast establishing itself as one of the world’s leading events destinations, already securing the title of Leading Events Destination for Africa, this city is also very quickly becoming Africa’s tech hub too. These growth and investment initiatives provide many benefits for Cape Town, including job creation and skills development for our communities. So I am very pleased to see these two wonderful developments coming together in the form of Africa Games Week 2018. I hope that all our international guests enjoy Cape Town and manage to get some time out from their busy schedules to take in some of the many wonderful sights and attractions that we have to offer.”
Councillor Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality, concluded: “As the largest municipality in the Western Cape outside the City of Cape Town and one of the province’s fastest-growing regions, Drakenstein welcomes this initiative – especially the platform it gives our youth to gain exposure to gaming, a billion-dollar international industry. It is our hope that this will open the door to gaming as a career for some of our youth, giving them better scope in terms of job opportunities, and empowering them to become role models to our community. Promoting film, media and gaming opportunities in our region together with Wesgro and developing the skills of our youth assist us in further growing a city of excellence in Drakenstein.”