Apologies for the prolonged silence but it's been a bit hectic around here. However the itch to write needed to be scratched, especially the itch to make another "useless" list: the top 5 African leaders leaders in environmental activism.
Environmental protection is a hot topic these days, with good reasons. And it would not be right for the extinct Dwarf Hippo to not say anything a few days before the whole Live Earth Bonanza, would it ?
The thing is, most of the current champions of the "saving the earth" cause who are in in the news mostly hails from the western world. One would argue that African leaders have bigger fish to fry at this point. However, there is no denying that Africa is the continent that climate change has affected the most.
Another issue tied up to this topic is the concept of environmental colonialism also notoriously known as the "saving Africa from Africans" theory. I don't think that idea warrant too much explanation. The fact is, Africa is affected by the climate change and that the issue needs to be addressed by Africans with effective environment policies led by Africans.
Without further ado, here is the list of the most influential Africans that have made a difference so far, hoping that much more will complete the list:
1)Wangari Maathai(Kenya): She is the first African woman to be awarded the peace prize since it was created in 1901. Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, a grassroots environmental non-governmental organization, which has now planted over 30 million trees across Kenya to prevent soil erosion. She has come to be affectionately called "Tree Woman."
2) Michael Sampson Werikhe (Kenya): also known as “the Rhino Man” was a Kenyan conservationist. He became famous through his long fundraising walks in East Africa and overseas.
3) Hammerskjoeld Simwinga(Zambia): In Zambia’s North Luangwa Valley, Hammerskjoeld Simwinga—known as Hammer—is utilizing innovative sustainable community development strategies to restore wildlife and transform this poverty-stricken area.
4) Ken Saro-Wima (Nigeria): Saro-Wiwa led a nonviolent campaign against environmental damage associated with the operations of multinational oil companies, especially Shell.
5) Nat Quansah (Madagascar): Nat Quansah, opened a clinic in the northwestern village of Ambodisakoana in 1994. There he developed and implemented the Integrated Health Care and Conservation Program in which the cultural tradition of using natural substances for medicinal purposes is being reintroduced.
Special mention: Jane Goodall ought to be at the top of the list since she lived in Tanzania for 4 decades and married a Tanzanian man. However, I thought we would restrict this list to African-born personalities.
As usual, if you spot any glaring omissions, your input is greatly appreciated.