The Challenge for Africa
Wangari Muta Maathai
In conversation with Judy Muller
April 21, 2009
Wangari Muta Maathai is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which, through networks of rural women, has planted over 30 million trees across Kenya since 1977. In 2002, she was elected to Kenya’s Parliament in the first free elections in a generation, and in 2003 was appointed Assistant Minister for Environment, Natural Resources, and Wildlife. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 2004, she is the author of Unbowed: A Memoir, and speaks to organizations around the world. Her newest book, The Challenge for Africa addresses the intricacies of African issues, such as the lack of technological developments, the absence of fair international trade, population pressures and enduring hunger, and the dearth of genuine political and economic leadership. Maathai stresses the need for Africans to invent and implement their own solutions, rather than relying on foreign aid and Western visions of change, and calls for a revolution in leadership on both a political and individual level.