Thursday, November 5, 2020

On November 4, 2020 the Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI) hosted a webinar on “My Reflections on Prof. Wangari Maathai: Wangari Maathai Institute” by Prof. Stephen Kiama, the Vice Chancellor, University of Nairobi.

There were three other panelists; Ms. Marion Kamau - Chair of the Board, the Green Belt Movement – Kenya, Prof. R. G. Wahome - Department of Animal Production, University of Nairobi and Prof. Karanja Njoroge, Centre for Environmental Action.

Prof Kiama gave a detailed presentation of the various works of the Late Prof. Wangari Maathai and the thinking behind the formation of Wangari Maathai Institute including the various community driven interventions in peace and environmental conservation.

Prof. Kiama noted that Prof. Wangari Maathai's unique approach to involve everyone in the community in various conservation activities and the passion she had to ensure all her activities had a long lasting impact.

The idea to develop the Wangari Maathai Institute was first conceptualized in 2008, and approved by University Senate and Council in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Prof. Maathai envisioned an Institute that was to take the lead in research, policy influencing, experiential learning, community outreach and global networking. Full Presentation HERE

 Prof. Wahome further discussed the history of Wangari Maathai Institute and a detailed explanation  on the conceptualization of the academic programmes offered at the WMI. All the Courses offered at WMI were developed to ensure that they address challenges at the grass root level by offering multi-disciplinary solutions to the challenges experienced by community.

Ms. Marion Kamau, emphasized on the need to continue being mindful of every member of the community and the role they play in conservation and advocacy, noting a strong linkage between environment and peace. Prof. Karanja while reflecting on the idea behind establishment of the WMI pointed out that it is important to share all the knowledge developed by scholars with the communities at the grassroot level and empower them to be better change agents.

The webinar was attended by 180 participants from diverse disciplines. This is the second webinar mounted by the Wangari Maathai Institute as University of Nairobi celebrates 50 years of academic excellence.

Link to Webinar