Metaverse growth projections released recently by Analysis Group, a research company contracted by Meta, indicate that the metaverse will pump an additional $40 billion into sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in a decade’s time.
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There is one major caveat though according to the report: the need for metaverse growth and adoption to be similar to that of mobile technology. The report says, “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.”
There are major hurdles that are still throttling Africa’s progress in the global digital economy such as 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.
According to the World Bank’s 2020 report, Africa’s GDP is $1.7 trillion but when adjusted to 2021’s inflation rates, Meta’s metaverse projection mean the continent is set to a 1.8% rise in GDP in 10 years’ time, just from the advent of the metaverse.
It also estimates that if the metaverse adoption began now, it would have a contribution of $3 trillion to global GDP in 2031.
“This estimate lies within the range of existing industry projections, which include estimates ranging from $800 billion to $2 trillion over the next few years, which tend to focus on near-term impacts on gaming, social media, ecommerce, and live entertainment, for example, to long- term estimates ranging from approximately $3 trillion to over $80 trillion,” the report says.
The survey also says that Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), extended reality (XR), blockchain, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs ) are the fledgling technologies that are expected to be the backbone of the metaverse for social and economic activity.