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© Daniël Nelson

The WWF Regional Office for Africa (ROA) is a part of WWF International but headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and Yaoundé, Cameroon. Its main vision is to support WWF offices across Africa in implementing their ambitious conservation programmes.

AFRICA - a continent of contrasts, a land of challenges and opportunities. Home to one-third of the planet’s biological diversity and close to a fifth of humanity, Africa’s rich natural heritage, cultural diversity, and dynamic population define a new era for the continent and the world. But Africa’s land, water and seascapes are under unprecedented pressure from unsustainable development.

But even as Africa hurtles towards an uncertain future of rising temperatures, extreme weather events, water shortages, the Russia-Ukraine War and recovery from the pandemic, there are opportunities. And there is also hope.

Africa’s young, entrepreneurial, and increasingly educated population is amongst the continent’s greatest assets. With so much as yet unbuilt infrastructure, Africans have an opportunity to build their futures using modern green technologies - enhancing energy access, and providing digital financial solutions to those in need. Importantly, people across Africa and the rest of the world are showing an unprecedented interest in nature, and governments and industries are taking steps towards net zero and a carbon-neutral, nature positive future.

Africa has also made considerable gains towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063- The Africa We Want. A growing number of natural resource governance frameworks present the continent with opportunities to partner with state and non-state actors from local to global.

Africa’s unique nature and natural resources are under greater pressure than ever before

© Will Burrard-Lucas / WWF-US

Our new WWF Africa Strategy seeks to leverage these opportunities and seize this moment for people and planet. The strategy debunks two big myths: One, that Conservation and Economic Development cannot co- exist; and two, that Conservation is only for the elite few.

The strategy has two impact areas aimed at addressing these myths. One calls for the creation of Shared Spaces that ensure co- existence between nature and people’s needs. The other calls for engaging the whole of society to ensure nature is everyone’s business. The strategy aims to Make Nature Count by ensuring the value of Africa’s natural capital is integrated into decision making by Governments, corporates, financial institutions, and society.
Our overarching approach is one of Inclusive Conservation that ensures everyone’s voice is heard and that human rights and gender equity are central to our work and that we tackle power imbalances and corruption through effective and inclusive natural resource governance.

WWF has its origins in Africa and has been at the forefront of local conservation initiatives in Africa for six decades. Our evolution has been made possible by partnerships with a broad range of Governments, scientists, park managers, local communities, businesses and the generosity of our donors. We remain aware that our mission to ensure a world where people and nature live in harmony demands constant vigilance and innovation in the face of ever-changing challenges.

As WWF enters its seventh decade in Africa, the task is urgent and the time is now.

We can’t do it alone. Join us!

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© WWF / Simon Rawles