A new type of online environment called the metaverse is about to take off in Africa. Through this virtual space, people from all over the world can interact, participate in events, and buy virtual goods. However, some are concerned about issues like privacy, digital rights, and online inequality. Thami Nkosi, an activist and researcher at Right2Know, argues that the development of this technology is a step in the right direction for Africans, but also raises questions about its impact.
Ubuntuland, Africas first metaverse, is getting ready for public land sales. Launched this year, Ubuntuland is Africarare’s first 3-D immersive virtual reality. It uses the $UBUNTU metaverse token, which can be used to buy land and rent meeting rooms. M&C Saatchi Abel and Standard Bank have already purchased land in Ubuntuland, and MTN is also making plans to enter the metaverse in the near future.
Art galleries in Africarare
The Africarare virtual art marketplace features a range of custom-made experiences, from art and education to fashion and technology. The platform will also feature galleries, live performances, stand-up comedy, and video content channels, including film festivals. Executives claim that the market will create jobs and foster a vibrant creative community. They have outlined several ways the African region can be benefitted from the Africarare marketplace. Among other benefits, the African art marketplace will enable artists to reach a global audience.
According to a recent study by World Wide Worx and Ornico, almost 30% of South African internet-connected consumers have used the internet for gaming. Of these, 16.1% have participated in a virtual world within the past year. Some respondents compare it to Fortnite. Regardless of its benefits, metaverses are likely to be disruptive to the way we live and do business. Nonetheless, there are some important things to keep in mind as Africas first metaverse takes off.
African governments and companies have begun exploring blockchain as a way to decentralize information and health care. In Ethiopia, for instance, the blockchain project is already bringing digital identity to millions of people – something that has been missing in most African countries. It’s a crucial first step towards financial inclusion and has a range of benefits. In addition, Ethiopia’s blockchain project is the first major blockchain project to focus on the African market. Its goals align with those of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and African Agenda 2063.
Many African nations receive only basic connectivity, and that may prove to be an issue for the emerging metaverse. For the continent, the digital economy will have no purpose if its rural populations are unable to take advantage of it. This could be especially problematic for a continent that has the youngest population in the world. Fortunately, African nations can take the lead in creating an open metaverse and embracing its potential.