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Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai dies

It is a very sad news we read yesterday:  Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, has died of cancer at the age of 71.

The New York Times writes about her:

Dr. Maathai, one of the most widely respected women on the continent, played many roles — environmentalist, feminist, politician, professor, rabble-rouser, human rights advocate and head of the Green Belt Movement, which she founded in 1977. Its mission was to plant trees across Kenya to fight erosion and to create firewood for fuel and jobs for women.

Last August, Max Dana mentioned Wangari Maathai in her post: Ces femmes qui font bouger l’Afrique. Maathai started the Green Belt Movement in 1977, working with women to improve their livelihoods by increasing their access to resources like firewood for cooking and clean water.

South Africa’s Desmond Tutu said she was ‘a true African heroine’. This great and inspiring woman will be sorely missed for the great work she did…


Photo Credit: Martin Rowe

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