Meta sees a huge metaverse business potential in Africa, with an additional $40 billion to the continent’s GDP by 2031. This lofty goal comes with one major caveat; Only if the metaverse is adopted and grows in the same way that mobile technology has.
However, the continent is dealing with issues that if not addressed, will make it the last to adopt the company’s immersive technology, and not in the grand manner that Meta hopes.
Meta intends to make the metaverse available via smartphone apps in an effort to ensure that it develops at the same rate as mobile innovation. Although a significant section of the population in Africa does not yet own a smartphone, many users still find it difficult to understand what the metaverse means to them.
Lower Internet Costs
While internet speed is still the slowest in the world, mobile internet costs are the highest in Africa. Although Meta expects that its 2Africa sub-marine broadband cable would lower internet costs in Africa, this may not happen anytime soon.
A typical African family cannot afford the $400 price tag of Meta’s VR headsets. The CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, is coming up against resistance from his own staff, who fear that his fixation with the metaverse will destroy the company.
Meta is spending $50 million in 16 African countries to educate people on VR, AR, and XR. Intellectual property violations, fraud, cybersecurity risks, and impersonation have all tarnished the Metaverse.
The lack of enthusiasm among African techies for the metaverse is due to such disadvantages. Many do not believe that it actually solves an issue.
Leveraging African Talent
Africa is significant to Meta and wants to keep investing there. They are also dedicated to continuing to develop technologies that enable people to connect with one another, expand their enterprises, and stay in touch with friends and family. There is a wealth of talent on the continent, and nowhere is it more thrilling to see this than in the creative and digital industries, where regional solutions are being developed for complex global issues.
People in Africa are already able to work, learn, and socialize in ways that are less constrained by their geographic location thanks to mobile internet. That will go even deeper in the metaverse. Within the next ten years, the metaverse is expected to hold hundreds of billions of dollars in digital trade, transform how we work, and provide work for millions of developers and producers.
Africa can and will play a significant part in the metaverse, developing new channels for African brands to engage customers with original narratives, e-sports, culture, and novel immersive experiences. By 2035, it is expected that Africa will have the greatest labor force in the world, making this reality no longer a pipe dream.
Throughout the continent, digitization is becoming more prominent and transforming how they do business, generate employment, interact with friends and family, and use public services. The vibrant startup environment in Africa is a shining illustration of this emerging trend, which has sparked a wave of innovation throughout the continent.
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