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Wangari Maathai wins the Nobel Peace Prize PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 October 2004 13:16

Wangari Mathaai has been one of my heros for a long time, I heard her speak in at the TOES conference in 1985, and she, along with other speakers at the same conference like Vandana Shiva, inspired me to spend the bulk of my adult life working on projects with a purpose. She richly deserves the prize and hopefully brings it back to the levels of prestige it once had before some highly dubious awards to war-mongers.

K B C (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation): "Prof. Wangari Mathaai wins Nobel Prize

Caption: Kenya’s environmental campaigner and Environment Asst. Minister Prof Wangari Maathai (pictured) has won the 100 Million shillings worth Nobel Peace Prize, she is the first African woman to be awarded the prestigious prize since its inauguration 1901

Kenya’s environmental campaigner and Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Wangari Maathai has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Prof. Mathaai is the first African woman to be awarded the prestigious prize since it was first handed out in 1901.

Prof. Maathai, the founder of the Green Belt Movement won the over 100 million shillings worth prize from a record field of 194 candidates among them US President George W. Bush, British Premier Tony Blair and Pope John Paul II. I have been called by the Norwegian ambassador to inform me that I have won the Nobel award," Maathai, 64, a veteran environmentalist, said. "I am very excited. I really don't know what to say."

Named after Swedish philanthropist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, the prize will be officialy presented in Oslo on December 10.

Prof. Maathai the Kenya-based Non-governmental Organisation- NGO the Green Belt Movement, comprised mainly of women, is said to have so far planted between 25-30 million trees across Africa.

She is the 12th woman Nobel winner. The 2003 prize also went to a woman, Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi.

Born in 1940, Prof. Maathai says that tree plantings slow desertification, preserve forest habitats for wildlife and provide a source of fuel, building materials and food for future generations. "