, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jun 16 – The African Union has celebrated and honoured the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai by naming the gardens in front of its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after her.
The proposal to honour the late Kenyan environmentalist was made by Congo during the just concluded 25th AU Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The overall objective is to highlight the work and achievements of the late Prof Wangari Maathai and identify how best the African Union can continue to commemorate and celebrate her life,” the delegate said in the proposal.
Congo said it is imperative for Africa to distinctly recognize the achievements and contributions of Wangari Maathai in the fields of environment, human rights and democracy.
The Executive council of ministers in adopting the proposal, noted that celebrating Africans like Wangari Maathai, who worked tirelessly to better the continent, acknowledges the struggle of the individuals and inculcates their legacy.
The late Professor won the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate after decades of environmental and political activism to conserve forests in Kenya and beyond and was the first African woman to receive the coveted prize.
She will be remembered for her instrumental role in engaging women in rural areas of Kenya to plant and nurture trees, mainly through agroforestry.
The environmentalist introduced the idea of planting trees while serving in the National Council of Women in 1976, a concept she developed into the Green Belt Movement.
She assisted women in planting more than 20 million trees on their farms and on schools and church compounds.