RIYADH: Meta has announced the launch of the first metaverse academy in the Middle East and North Africa region, in partnership with Tuwaiq Academy and Simplon, a French digital skills provider, at the second edition of LEAP in Riyadh.
Kojo Boakye, vice president of public policy for Meta in Africa, the Middle East, and Turkiye, told Arab News: “We have announced the launch of the first metaverse academy in this region.
“We think [it] will feed exactly into what this region is doing, sparking the development of the metaverse ecosystem, working with creators and developers, the builders of the metaverse, to ensure it comes to fruition.”
The academy will be based in Riyadh and will aim to support the region’s metaverse ecosystem through training programs.
Boakye added: “We have great hopes for the future, and we believe the academy, in partnership with Tuwaiq and Simplon, will help that.”
Faisal Al-Khamisi, chairman of Tuwaiq Academy, said: “We are thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative with Meta to establish the first metaverse academy in the MENA region.
“This partnership with Meta allows us to continue this mission and support the growth of the metaverse ecosystem by training and empowering the next generation of metaverse builders and leaders.”
The academy will launch a series of programs from May 1 that will equip students with the necessary skills to pursue a career in the growing metaverse.
Boakye said: “There’s a broad range of training, everything from a short course where you can just learn a little bit more about the metaverse, to a mid-level course that takes four to six weeks, to something in-depth where you can be training for eight to nine months to get the qualifications you need to add impacts to the work that’s being done.
“It’s the vision that we’re seeing in the region here in Saudi Arabia. The plan is to have one programmer for every 100 citizens.
“We are utterly convinced [by the project] when you look at the innovation and the ideas that are coming out from this region.
“We believe that this region and the builders here will affect the global spread and broad adoption of the metaverse, and that’s what we are aiming for.”
Boakye said that Meta had already encouraged developers, aspiring developers, and others interested in the metaverse to sign up for the program online.
He added: “If adoption of the metaverse were to grow in a similar way to the use of mobile technology, after 10 years it would contribute $360 billion, or 6.2 percent, to the GDP in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkiye.”