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Kenya holds Africa’s inaugural green games summit


NAIROBI, KENYA | Xinhua | The inaugural Africa’s Green Games Summit opened in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Saturday to help showcase the power of creative works in galvanizing action against threats to planetary health.

The two-day summit, which gathered players in the gaming industry and innovators, took place ahead of the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) to be held from Feb. 26 to March 1 in Nairobi.

The summit, organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)-facilitated Playing for the Planet Alliance and the Pan Africa Gaming Group (PAGG), aims to underscore the role of the gaming industry in advancing the green agenda in Africa.

The summit is taking place at the Nairobi Game Development Center, a community-focused space for game developers, and speakers from the technology and entertainment industries are expected to deliver speeches.

Among projects to be showcased at the summit includes Green Game Jam, which is expected to mobilize 1 million people this year to take action against ecological threats.

In addition, some of the best-in-class studios making games in Africa including Usiku Games, Internet of Elephants and Mekon from Kenya and Sea Monster from South Africa will be highlighted at the summit.

Jay Shapiro, the chairperson of Pan Africa Gaming Group, observed that with over 1 billion digital native youth coming online in Africa, the continent will be the new frontier for gaming to help advance environmental stewardship.

“We are so excited to welcome the top experts from around the world to the Nairobi Game Development Center to collaborate on climate action gaming best practices as well,” Shapiro said.

Sam Barratt, chief of the youth, education and advocacy unit in UNEP’s ecosystems division, noted that video games and other forms of entertainment can be a powerful tool for reinvigorating action on the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and habitat loss.

“This first-ever Green Games Summit in Africa has seen some of the best in the business share their ideas on what this industry can do on this agenda,” Barratt said. ■

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