Today, Africa’s largest telecom company, MTN bought 144 plots of digital land in the Africarare metaverse Ubuntuland for an undisclosed sum.

MTN with this purchase laid claim to becoming the first African company to enter the metaverse, according to a press release on the company’s website.

Ubuntuland is being developed by Africarare and Mann Made Media and will be open to public land sales later this year. Ubuntuland will showcase some of the best of African art, fashion, entertainment, sport, tech and creativity and will provide a platform for artists from across the continent to showcase their work. Africarare is the first South African metaverse, housing digital land with roots in the African continent. It sold out it’s debut Non-fungible token (NFT) art collection last year for about $50,000.

“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 in an interview last year.

This move comes after MTN’s recent brand refresh positioning itself as a technology company, rather than a telecommunications company. “This investment demonstrates MTN’s commitment to supporting African innovation,” the group said in a statement.

Through its presence in the metaverse, MTN intends to increase its customer attractiveness through a series of experiences merged with consumer passion points, like gaming and music,” Bernice Samuels, chief marketing officer at MTN group said.

Alongside MTN, South African advertising agency M&C Saatchi Abel also purchased its own plot of land in the newly created Ubuntuland. Outside Africa, companies like Samsung, Adida and PricewaterhouseCoopers have hopped on the trend too, buying plots of digital land.

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox