Zimbabwe safari shows African business leaders the value of conservation
Nearly one year ago, a group of African business leaders took part in a special safari hosted by African Wildlife Foundation leadership and conservation experts at Wilderness Safaris at Davison’s Camp, a beautiful ecotourism lodge nestled in one of the most prolific wildlife areas in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, to explore the role of African leadership and private investments in mitigating threats to Africa’s wildlife and wild lands.
Guests of AWF’s inaugural ‘C-suite Safari’ included: Kenya Commercial Bank Board Chairman Andrew Wambari Kairu; Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga; Nelson Mandela Foundation Trustee and Club of Rome Club Co-President Dr. Mamphela Ramphele; and IberSun Limited Partner Dr. M.K. Dorsey.
At the time of the safari in late February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was just arriving on the continent. The first confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa was announced in Nigeria shortly after the trip concluded. Within three months, the virus had spread across the continent. Travel bans and restrictions, border closings, government shutdowns, and social distancing measures directly impacted national economies, not leaving small-scale conservation-friendly enterprises unscathed. The risk of reversing positive attitudes toward wildlife continued to grow with the spread of the coronavirus and the extension of travel bans. The tourism industry had never dealt with an economic blow of this magnitude and duration before.
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