An African start-up committed to sustainable development is trying to help the situation of deforestation on the continent, using the modern technology of geotagging and blockchain.
The organization, Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), calls their social initiative My Roots in Africa project.
In the process, MIPAD hopes to plant more than 200 million trees across Africa by 2024. The significance of the deadline is the end of the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent.
The trees are to be planted at the request of anyone, hopefully, Africans in the diaspora, resident anywhere in the world. These trees will be named after their requesters in honor or given as gifts to loved ones.
Geotagging is the process of adding geographical information to any piece of digital media or internet feed.
Under the My Roots in Africa project, those who request trees would have, virtual access to the geographic locations of their trees thanks to geotagging.
Speaking on the expected impact of the project, MIPAD founder and CEO, Kamil Olufowobi, seemed upbeat.
“It presents an opportunity where Africa wins, the diaspora wins, and all of humanity wins. It supports the diaspora to reduce their barrier of entry to Africa,” said Olufowobi.
He described the project as “Uber for trees”, espousing the connection it can create between global citizens and local African communities.
My Roots in Africa will be launched next month on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is part of the AU’s drive for what it calls the Great Green Wall campaign to foster the culture of afforestation.
Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing deforested areas with the continent losing about 1% of forest cover annually.