Library Weekly

The ASCL's Library Weekly is our library’s weekly spotlight on African people and events. Inspired by the SciHiBlog, this service is based on information retrieved from Wikipedia and Wikidata and is completed with selected titles from the ASCL Library Catalogue. 

N.B. The weeklies are not updated and reflect the state of information at a given point in time.

Library Weekly archive

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai in 2001 (Wikimedia Commons, Kingkongphoto &, CC-BY-2.0)On 1 April 1940, Kenyan social, environmental, and political activist Wangarĩ Muta Maathai was born. As a beneficiary of the Kennedy Airlift she studied in the United States, earning a bachelor's degree from Mount St. Scholastica and a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She went on to become the first woman in East and Central Africa to become a Doctor of Philosophy, receiving her PhD from the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organisation focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women's rights. In 1984, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "converting the Kenyan ecological debate into mass action for reforestation". Maathai was an elected member of Parliament of Kenya and between January 2003 and November 2005 served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki. She was an Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council.

Wangarĩ Maathai was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her "contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace." She was the first African woman to win this prestigious award.

Maathai died of complications from ovarian cancer on 25 September 2011.

(From the English Wikipedia, edited.)

Selected publications

Wangari Maathai's registers of freedom / Grace Musila. - Cape Town : National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences : HSRC Press, [2020]
The challenge for Africa / Wangari Maathai. - London : Arrow Books, 2010
Wangari Maathai / Hilary Ng'weno, Hilary; Lorna Dias. - Nairobi : Kenya History & Biographies Co. Ltd. [etc.], [ca. 2010]
Mama Miti : Wangari Maathai and the trees of Kenya / Donna Jo Napoli; Kadir Nelson. - New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, cop. 2010
In : Géopolitique africaine , no. 29, p. 119-127, 2008
Unbowed : a memoir / Wangari Maathai. - London : Heinemann, 2007
For more publications see the ASCL Library Catalogue
See also the UNESCO Series on Women in African History: Wangari Maathai
Nobel Lecture by Professor Wangari Maathai

Timeline of Wangari Maathai via Wikidata