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Wangari Maathai - on equal distribution of land and natural resources
In a recent opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Kenyan Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai discussed the steps to acheiving a lasting peace and good governance in Kenya.
Maathai is also a former Kenyan MP and the founder of the Green Belt Movement. She discusses the importance of understanding and addressing the underlying tension and injustice that have fueled the recent ethnic and political conflict in Kenya, highlighting in particular the importance of equal distribution of land and natural resources:
"Even as we struggle to resolve the current crisis, we need ot know why these clashes recur. Only then can wounds begin to heal and poeple look to the future with hope. One main trigger is the inequitable distribution of natural resources in Kenya, especially land."
Maathai goes on to discuss the history of land displacement and imperialism in Kenya and the importance of the many "micro-national" identities that define Kenyans. She concludes:
"To create a more cohesive nation-state, ruling elites must devote time, energy and resources to ensuring universal freedom, security and equitable distribution of resources. And far from trying to destroy micro-nationalities, Africans should embrace their distant cultures, languages and values. By bringing the best of the micro-nationality to the nation, they would enrich all."
Posted By Megan Liddle at 1:04pm on February 08, 2008
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