The Metaverse is no longer being considered science fiction with the global economy gearing towards the idea with regards to the future.
Africa is following up with the trend with the recent emergence of Ubuntuland, the continent’s first Metaverse marketplace and research carried out by Analysis Group (AG) suggest that the virtual platform will pump over 40 billion US dollars into sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP in ten years time.
Analysis Group, which is a research company under Meta, released a growth projection report implying that universal adoption of the metaverse could contribute 2.8% to global gross domestic product (GDP) in just a decade, with Africa contributing 1.8%, although this is assuming the growth is synonymous to mobile technology.
“If the metaverse were to be adopted and grow in a similar way as mobile technology, then we would expect it to be associated with a 2.8% contribution to global GDP after 10 years,” the report reads.
According to the report, 3 trillion US dollars could be plugged into the world economy by the metaverse in ten years but is capped by significant regional variations with Africa projected to get around 40 billion.
“By region, the metaverse’s share of regional GDP in the 10th year is 2.3% for APAC, 0.9% for Canada, 0.4% for Europe, 4.6% for India, 5.0% for LATAM, 6.2% for MENAT, 1.8% for Africa, and 2.3% for the United States.”
With the unique nature of the metaverse, it is seen as a straightforward addition to the world economy, rather than as a redeployment of existing resources.
“Because these numbers do not account for any displacement of GDP from other industries that may occur over the 10 years, they can be viewed as a lower bound on the metaverse’s share of 10th year GDP,” the report reads.
Africa’s full emergence in the global metaverse economy faces major hurdles as a result of its overall struggles digitally. Some of these problems include the high cost of mobile data compared to the rest of the world, low smartphone penetration, and high cost plus limited availability of Virtual Reality headsets that power the metaverse.
5G network connectivity is one of the major tools essential for the metaverse to be in play but it is yet to gain traction in Africa although a number of countries have installed 5G base stations for piloting.
All of these suggest that Africa could be the last continent to be fully plugged into the metaverse despite its huge promise. However, Derya Matras, Meta’s vice president for Africa, the Middle East and Turkey finds huge opportunities in a continent full of passion for tech with a high volume of youth.
“We know there is huge talent here on the continent, and nowhere is it more exciting to witness than in the creative and tech space,” Derya Matras told African Business.
The metaverse is already taking steps in Africa, seeing major positive developments such as MTN Group purchasing 144 plots of digital land in the continent’s metaverse, Ubuntuland. This tells us that despite the continent’s digital struggles, it is hopeful that innovations in Africa will keep pace with the expansion of the global virtual economy.