Facebook launches Bots Developer Challenge for Middle East & Africa with cash prizes & mentorship. Here’s how to take part

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
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If you are a developer in Africa or the Middle-East, Facebook has extended a challenge to you. The company is holding a competition to encourage the development of innovative bots for its Messenger platform.

Called the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge it’s been announced as a contest which will recognise and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.

Messenger, which started off as an instant messaging (IM) service linked to Facebook accounts was spun off as a separate service and has evolved into a platform supporting a host of services that include discount hunting, news delivery, price comparisons, food orders and airline booking.

For the competition, Facebook is inviting developers, in teams of up to three people to create bots in three categories, namely gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good.

What’s up for grabs?

The 60 finalist teams (10 per category in the regions  – the Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa) will win a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship and tools and services from FbStart.

FbStart is a program designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps.Students taking part (and verified through the registration made via their government accredited school email accounts) have been given greater incentive. If they make it as finalists their teams will get an extra US$2,000.

30 teams each in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East/North Africa will be selected as finalists.

For the two regions, three runner-up teams (one from each category) will win US$10,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship. The winners, selected from each of the 2 regions, will be three winning teams (one from each category). They will get US$20,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship.

If you are interested in taking part make sure you register before the 28th of April 2017 at 11:59:59 GMT.The finalists will be announced on the 19th of May at 9 am GMT and winners will be announced on the 19th of June.

Follow this link here to https://messengerchallenge.splashthat.com for registration and more details or check out the Facebook Group that’s been created for the contest.

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