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Africa

WANGARI MAATHAI WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
DESERT LOCUST INVASION
POLICY INITIATIVES
CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE

Professor Wangari Maathai, with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan during his visit to Nairobi to attend a UN Security Council meeting in November.

Source: UNEP DCPI

When Professor Wangari Maathai, Kenya 's Assistant Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, Africa 's environmental agenda gained international attention and environment was affirmed as key to peace and security. At the same time, natural disasters and conflicts competed for headline attention with the region's cooperative policy initiatives. Wildfires and the worst locust plague for 15 years recalled the challenges that constantly stalk sustainable development efforts in Africa.

Key Facts

  • The number of people in Africa who depend on biomass fuels is expected to increase from an estimated 580 million in 2000 to about 820 million in 2030. Most of this demand is for cooking and heating.
  • More than 500 million people in Africa have no electricity. This figure is projected to jump to approximately 650 million people by 2030.
  • The region needs about US$210 billion investment in the electricity sector, over the next 30 years, to meet projected demand and improve current services.
  • By the end of June 2004, a total of 19 African countries had ratified the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, which came into force on 24 February 2004. By the end of July 2004, 22 African countries had ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Sources: African Union 2004a and b, AMCEN 2004, IEA 2002, PIC Secretariat 2004, POPs Secretariat 2004

 

 

 


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