The African story of the past few years has been one of positive change—of rising economic growth, entrepreneurial innovation and rapid development.
Those of us living in Africa today are the luckiest generation of Africans ever to walk the Earth. We live on a dynamic continent. We are healthier and living longer than our forefathers.
We are now aspiring to make Africa not just a great continent but also a prosperous one. However, this will not happen if we pursue development at the expense of our wildlife and wild lands… or if all Africa’s leaders want to do is to create jobs, grow enough food to feed their people and secure their borders at the expense of healthy ecosystems and wildlife populations.
As president of the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), I have been meeting with African heads of state and regional bodies to tell this side of the story: that development without conservation spells neither prosperity nor progress for our continent. As part of my efforts, AWF recently signed a groundbreaking partnership agreement with the African Union.
The agreement in essence recognizes AWF as Africa’s own conservation organization, representing that voice for wildlife that has been missing from development discussions. With this new partnership, we are positioned to be able to effect even more positive change for Africa.
A New Brand
Of course, as Africa changes, so must AWF. You may have noticed the new logo we unveiled in early 2017. As you can see, the new design deliberately preserves the integrity of the elephants that have shaped our identity for the past 50-some years. At the same time, it embraces a more modern aesthetic reflecting our multi-dimensional approach to conservation.
Our visual identity is not all that’s changed. We’ve also unveiled a new mission statement: “Our mission is to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa.” This identity proudly reflects our vision of a modern, thriving Africa with wildlife and wild lands at its core.
It is a vision that is shared by the African Union and by committed conservationists like you. With your support, AWF will continue to work across the continent to fulfill that vision and write a new chapter in Africa’s development story.