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Dr. Wangari Maathai will become the First Black African Woman to be Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 2004
On December 10, Kenya's Dr. Wangari Maathai will become the First Black African Woman to be Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to her prominent role to fight for the Poor women. In the late 1970s, Mrs Maathai led a campaign called the Green Belt Movement to plant tens of millions of trees across Africa to slow deforestation. The movement grew to include projects to preserve biodiversity, educate people about their environment and promote the rights of women and girls. Known as "The Tree Woman" in Kenya, Mrs Maathai celebrated by planting a Nandi flame tree in her home town of Nyeri, in the shadow of Mount Kenya. She made sure that she don't only protect the environment, they also improve governance. She thinks, "the environment is very important in the aspects of peace because when we destroy our resources and our resources become scarce, we fight over that".
The Award Committee praised her saying, "a source of inspiration for everyone in Africa fighting for sustainable development, democracy and peace". Dr. Maathai has taken a holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights and women's rights in particular. Mrs Maathai beat a record 194 nominations, including former chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix and the head of the UN energy watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, to win the prize.
Mrs Maathai is the second woman in a row to be awarded the peace prize, which last year went to Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi for her work for the rights of women and children in Iran.
The award, which includes 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.3m) is awarded in Oslo on 10 December each year.
Dr. Maathai believes: "God created the planet from Monday to Friday. On Saturday he created human beings. "The truth of the matter is... if man was created on Tuesday, I usually say, he would have been dead on Wednesday, because there would not have been the essential elements that he needs to survive"
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