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Two former African Heads of State join African Wildlife Foundation

Two former African Heads of State join African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has called upon former African Heads of State, HE Issoufou Mahamadou, former President of Niger and HE Hailemariam Desalegn, former Ethiopian Prime Minister, to be part of their global board of trustees and share their diverse and unique African leadership perspectives as they implement their 10-year strategy.

Chief Executive Officer of AWF, Kaddu Sebunya said as an African organization in these uncertain times, they recognize the important role that the African voice plays in ensuring that the continent’s development is hinged on its people and its natural assets.

“We believe that Africa right now stands at a crossroad, that the decisions that leaders in Africa take now will have enduring impacts on people,” he added.

He said they trust that the elevated status of biodiversity will influence the opportunities available to Africans today and into the future.

“It is in this respect that we sought the support of African leaders in championing a new narrative for conservation in Africa,” he emphasised.

Mahomodou said he is very excited to be joining the AWF board to further ensure that Africa shapes its own conservation and climate agenda that will secure prosperity for African nations and communities.

“Planing and managing resource use in an integrated way to deliver on people’s needs, development aspirations and conservation imperative require a landscape approach,” he added.

He said that they see the power of this landscape approach in our work to revive the Great Green Wall, which is transforming lives across the Sahel as well as restoring the ecosystem.

“Working alongside the AWF, we will be able to achieve enormous milestones that will shape the future of Africa,” he added.

Similarly, Desalegn said he is thrilled to become a member of the African conservation movement through the AWF.

“Having led an African country for 6 years, I understand the key issues that we face as a continent and have consistently stated in multiple global forums that what needs to change is our behaviour and our mindset,” he explained.

“Understanding the intricacies of these global policies and the key role Africa plays is vital in ensuring that we do not set ourselves up for failure, through the AWF, I believe, we will be able to achieve this and so much more,” he emphasised.

The former Heads of State aim to work alongside their peers to ensure that wildlife and wildlands thrive in modern Africa to support AWF’s firm recognition of the central role that conservation plays in Africa’s aspirations, especially in building back better from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The new Board Trustees believe that the recovery path chosen by African leaders must be underpinned by a commitment to securing the continent’s natural infrastructure to provide a strong base for resilient and prosperous nations.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.