Africa’s largest telecommunication network, MTN, has become the first company on the continent to enter the metaverse. This was after the telecom giant bought 144 plots of digital land in Africarare, the company announced.
“Africarare, which made its debut in South Africa in October 2021, is the first African Virtual Reality metaverse featuring digital land,” MTN said in a statement. “This purchase will see MTN owning 144 plots of virtual land with an overall area of 12x12m.”
Techcabal reports that the Africarare metaverse Ubuntuland is being developed by Africarare and Mann Made Media. It will provide a platform for African artists from Africa to showcase their work in art, fashion, entertainment, sport, tech and creativity.
MTN’s presence in the metaverse is expected to increase its customer attractiveness through a series of experiences merged with consumer passion points, like gaming and music.
For MTN, the move is also a demonstration of its commitment to supporting African innovation. MTN’s group executive for marketing, Bernice Samuels, said: “This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised on — leveraging trends that amplify consumers’ digital experiences and engagement. We have always been at the forefront of technological and digital changes and we remain alive to the exciting opportunities the metaverse presents for us and our customers.”
Last year, Africarare, which is the first South African metaverse, sold out its debut Non-fungible token (NFT) art collection for about $50,000, according to Techcabal.
“We’ve seen an immense amount of growth in the NFT space marketplace and Metaverses across the US, Europe, Asia, there hasn’t been much coming out of Africa. We feel there’s a great opportunity for Africa to take part in this new world.” Mic Mann, co-founder of Africarare, said last year.
Aside from MTN, another South African company, M&C Saatchi Abel, which is an advertising agency, has also bought its own plot of land in the newly created Ubuntuland.
A metaverse is a form of virtual reality that enables users to interact and experience things as they would in the physical world.