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How the metaverse is staying relevant in South Africa

Mic Mann, the founder of the metaverse platform Africarare, recently shared insights at the Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, emphasizing that the metaverse continues to captivate the attention of companies and individuals in South Africa. Africarare is the driving force behind the Ubuntuland metaverse, a three-dimensional and immersive virtual world facilitated by virtual reality and augmented reality headsets.

In 2022, the Ubuntuland metaverse gained notable traction, with leading South African companies like MTN and Nedbank eagerly joining the virtual realm. Although the initial fervor around the metaverse may have subsided, Mic Mann affirms that interest in the Ubuntuland platform persists. Mann disclosed, “We have companies like Primedia, a prominent media entity in South Africa, constructing their villages on the platform. This demonstrates that businesses remain aware of the platform’s compelling use cases.”

MTN, a telecommunications giant, announced its acquisition of land on the Ubuntuland metaverse with the goal of “amplifying consumer’s digital experiences and engagement.” Similarly, Nedbank articulated its motivation for joining the metaverse, expressing a strategic move to “enable Nedbank to engage in future digital marketplaces, where we believe we will need to meet and serve our clients.” Both companies secured 144 plots of 12x12m land on the Ubuntuland metaverse, each plot priced at 0.1499 Ethereum (~$2,045).

Looking ahead, Mic Mann envisions a promising future for the metaverse in South Africa, especially with the anticipated widespread adoption of devices such as Apple’s Vision Pro. “We are currently concentrating on enhancing our immersive mobile experience,” Mann explained. “The enthusiasm surrounding devices like Vision Pro and advancements in artificial intelligence foretell a bright future for the adoption of virtual reality technologies like the metaverse.”

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In response to a query from journalists regarding Africarare’s efforts to drive metaverse adoption, Mann outlined several initiatives. These initiatives include offering a free course on building products on Ubuntuland, promoting open-source software to provide more developers with opportunities to contribute to the platform, and creating content that simplifies the concepts of the metaverse for a broader, non-technical audience. Through these strategic measures, Africarare aims to demystify the metaverse and make it more accessible to a diverse audience in South Africa.

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