As part of the implementation of the African Union Assembly decision to immortalise Wangari Maathai, Kenya Embassy, African Union Commission, University of Addis Ababa and the United Nations Environment Programme commemorated the First Wangari Maathai Day on 3rd March 2012, under the theme “The Environment, Sustainability and the legacy of Prof. Maathai”, at the African Union headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The aim of the event was to celebrate the legacy of Professor Wangari Maathai and raise awareness on environmental challenges as well as ways of taking responsibility to protect the environment. The highlights of the celebration was the screening of a documentary film “Taking Root: the Vision of Wangari Maathai” a dramatic story of Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard environment, protect human rights and defend democracy. This was followed by an interactive discussion on the theme.
The event was graced by members of the diplomatic corps, university students, lecturers, representatives from local, regional and international organizations. The Key note speakers included Mr. Desta Mebratu, Deputy Regional Director for Africa , UNEP; Dr. Abebe Haile Gabriel, Director of the AU Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture; Prof. Derebssa Dufera, Head of Partnerships and Cooperation at Addis Ababa University (AAU) and Mr. Christopher Chika, Minister, Kenya Embassy Addis Ababa.