TANZANIA’S award-winning singer-songwriter Ali Kiba will participate in China-Africa Dialogue Series with select group of respected Chinese and African business executives and civil society leaders on the sidelines of the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), starting tomorrow in South Africa.
The group has been appealing for wildlife and environmental issues to be included on the diplomatic agenda of the upcoming three-day Sino-African summit in Johannesburg. They will discuss ways to promote sustainable investments and operations that work toward the protection of Africa’s wildlife and wild lands.
For the past two years, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the Aspen Institute have facilitated the China–Africa Dialogue Series, holding meetings in Kigali and Nairobi in Africa, as well as in Beijing.
“My country has lost many of its elephants in the last few years due to poaching and we must all find ways to work together to stop the killing and safeguard our wild lands,” said Ali Kiba.
“We all have role to play in protecting our wildlife. As musician and artist, I am using my platform to bring attention to this crisis and inspire people to get involved.” Kiba is part of new public awareness campaign in Tanzania that is informing the Tanzanian public about the severe poaching crisis and building widespread support to protect elephants and other species from illegal wildlife trade.
The joint campaign with the tagline ‘Ujangili Unatuumiza sisi sote’ (Poaching steals from us all) was launched by AWF and WildAid, in partnership with Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Tanzania has lost more than 60 percent of its elephant population in the last five years to poachers.
Elephants are targeted for their ivory tusks, which are smuggled to markets abroad where demand for ivory trinkets and carvings has increased significantly.
China and Hong Kong are home to the world’s largest ‘legal’ ivory markets, where allegedly 90 percent of the ivory for sale is illegal. In 2015, China’s State Forestry Administration enacted a one-year ban on imports of African ivory carvings and ivory hunting trophies. Authorities in China and Hong Kong are also considering banning domestic ivory trade, move that would be game-changer in the effort to save Africa’s elephants.
As final stage of the China- Africa Dialogue Series, AWF and the Aspen Institute will host roundtable dialogue and safari from November 30 to December 3 at Kruger National Park, which has become a hotspot for rhino and elephant poaching.
In addition to Kiba, participants will include public and private sector leaders from China and Africa. African wildlife experts, VIP cultural envoys and award-winning Chinese film star Wang Baoqiang.
Ali Kiba currently leads local music charts with his first two singles ‘Mwana’ and ‘Chekecha Cheketua’. He is one of the most successful artists from Tanzania since he entered the music industry in 2007 and is noted to be the artist who sold the most records from his first album Cinderella in East Africa.