For the longest time, the Middle East, has been considered to be a rife area of the world, due to the sea of oil they sit on, and hence, peace has been difficult to obtain while driven by money. Continuing to seek transformation in Dubai, to be the world’s best city to live, work and invest, the government are now planning to achieve this goal in maintaining a higher level of global competitiveness within the Metaverse.
Most recently, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai directed the formation of a higher committee to prepare the Dubai Metaverse strategy. Appointed the head of the committee is, Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who most recently announced a new ‘metaverse strategy’ and one that will create 40,000 new virtual jobs and add $4 billion to the city’s GDP in five years- as reported by Fortune, and according to a Monday tweet:
“While the details are scant, it is reported that the pillars of the plan include fostering ‘metaverse innovation and economic contribution’, cultivating metaverse talent, and developing metaverse use cases and applications within the Dubai government.”
I founded Agritech (since 2005), and it is a company that focuses on achieving sustainable development goals by training farmers in the West African Sahel and supporting local economics. I had been working on a project called ‘Zero Carbon, Zero Deforestation Shea Value Chain’ since 2010, and creating interconnected ecovillages to provide renewable fuel, power and other sustainable agricultural tech to the region.
Furthermore, I am steering the Great Green Wall initiative towards a sustainable value chain oriented implementation strategy with the technology Serious Shea has developed.
I believe the Middle East and Dubai would be a perfect place for an incubator project he’s been developing, which is focused on nature based solution and restoration, as well as fit for what I call the DigiReal Multiverse. I believe this as the Middle East continues to welcome millions of people, and the population has grown so much in recent years, meaning that more trees are need in order to provide oxygen for this rising population.
The Middle East and Dubai are quickly becoming the heart and symbol of globalisation and leadership both in economic development and transformation. Like the rest of the world and my home Africa, we are unfortunate witnesses to the unprecedented climate breakdown, subsequent to pollution and the destruction of the strategic climate infrastructure, our primary ecosystems.
As the accelerating cost of catastrophic climate events threatens to cancel economic growth in many parts of the globe , the world is mobilising to find solutions and change the habits responsible for this mayhem.
I moved to Dubai almost 9 year ago to take advantage of the strategic location for innovation and trading. Our companies Golden Organics and SeriousShea are dedicated to finding solutions for a better future in Africa and beyond by developing nature based solutions and innovative food stuff.
We believe that technology can greatly contribute to finding a solution and have started with the support of global organisations like the African Development Bank, The World Bank and the World Economic forum to work on nature based business models with a positive impact on the environment and our climate in the Sahel around the Great Green Wall Initiative.
The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with an epic ambition to grow an 8,000km natural wonder of the world across the entire width of Africa from Senegal to Djibouti across 13 countries. The Wall promises to be a compelling solution to the many urgent threats not only facing the African Continent, but the global community as a whole – notably climate change, drought, famine, conflict and migration. Once complete, the Great Green Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet, 3 times the size of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Green Wall corresponds to the northern boundary of the millennial Shea belt which speaks for its role as the indigenous ecosystem for climate and desertification control. The Shea, Baobab, Acacias trees are vital social, environmental and economic crops (i.e shea butter—a multimillion-dollar ingredient used in cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals and chocolate, Acacia – Arabic Gum used in many industrial food processes ).
Selected as ‘Global Top Innovator’ by the World Economic through uplink and 1T.org (one Trillion Trees initiative). Agritech are members of the public private 1T.org Sahel Coalition to accelerate our impact driving with the other 1T.ORG and the collective action of ecopreneurs, government, businesses and civil society to unlock restoration at scale in the Sahel! They plan to plant 1 billions trees by 2030 and support the development of the value chains using their innovations.
Our first innovation recognizes the importance of developing sustainable value chains, protection and repopulating the trees in the sahel. They have developed a Zero Carbon and deforestation value chain based on mini industrial processing units running on a mix of renewable energies. This enables remote communities to process the harvest from the trees and export them globally to generate their own revenues and contribute to the global food supply which is under a lot of stress, the potential from the Sahel exceeds 50 billions USD in various ingredients and foodstuffs.
The second innovation is the use of blockchain to insure the integrity of all our processes including the traceability and the carbon footprint of our plantations, ingredients and foodstuffs.
Finally, one of the most interesting is our third innovation in partnership with KALOSCOPE is the creation of our Great NFTREE and our Great Green Multiverse to help mobilise resources and raise awareness about the global importance of the Sahel ecosystem for its people and the World climate stability. It’s a unique use of technology to create a DIGIREALTY ecosystem to allow people and corporations around the world to contribute ideas, funds, technologies and connect with the people of the Sahel.
Kaloscope is a decentralised social media platform, and in recent months added me to its board as its Strategic Sustainability Advisor. The Great NFTrees project will see users to purchase tree NFTs connected to geo-tagged locations and the actual planting of these trees in Africa’s Great Green Wall and aims to grow one trillion trees across 8,000 km stretch of land in Africa.
It is within an app, where users will be able to display their metaverse spaces and purchases, and use ‘perkabilities’ a host of ‘perks’ and ‘utilities’. For example collectors might get access to exclusive events, a one-to-one conversation with me, for having minted and holding the NFT. It is also noteworthy that ninety percent of revenue form the project will be minted on the Polygon blockchain and take place later in the year, as the website is still in development, and will go towards the Great Green Wall Project. As for the remaining ten percent it will cover administrative costs as Kaloscope plans to allow collectors to purchase these with various cryptocurrencies.
One can see how this particular project, can, as I have already pointed out, also reach other parts of the world like the Middle East, as they are in definite need of it. Such a project could possibly include attaching carbon credits to the Great NFTrees. While current carbon markets are known to be complex, this may be a way via the blockchain to truly contribute to solid sustainability efforts in all areas and possibly also the Middle East as they plan their next endeavour for this new market place. It is because the Middle-East is also feeling the full impact of climate change.
Having a growing number of initiatives in the UAE and Saudi to scale the plantation of trees and restore ecosystems, we are now connecting with innovators and governments to share our experience and technologies in scaling up nature based systems and solutions for the greater good. Finally, we have welcomed our first partners in Germany, GmbH, Zammit International and ELCON LED GmbH, to be one of the first companies to be part of a coalition and alliance of global corporations for The Great Green Wall via the NFTrees.
Together we, at Golden Organics is focussing on achieving Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) sustainability (for the water-energy-food nexus, including by developing and training clusters of farmers in the West African Sahel through to global trading). We have already started with the first hectares of the Great NFtrees planted in early September 2022. And from this, I also invite those interested in rebuilding global trust and restoration of the planet to join me to plant one tree at a time.
About William Kwende
William Kwende is the CEO of Agritech which is the sustainable umbrella company for Global Organics & Serious Shea that is leading the project, The Great Green Wall. The NFTrees is a part of the project- the digital aspect of it. Kwende is a partner of Kaloscope, the Strategic Sustainability Advisor towards efforts to introduce Economic Social Governance (ESG) into the metaverse.