Speaking in London at an inaugural meeting of Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) chaired by President Ali Bongo Odimba of Gabon and addressed by Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana) and Prince William Arthur, the Duke of Cambridge, Mrs. Kenyatta called on more African countries to support the EPI in its concerted efforts to safeguard African elephants.
Mrs. Kenyatta who is also the patron of the “Hands Off Our Elephants” initiative, a Kenyan anti-poaching campaign, said Kenya has since 2015 been a supportive member of EPI which has a current membership of 19 African countries.
EPI is Africa’s indigenous response to the elephant poaching crisis on the continent.
“Kenya’s rich natural assets are extremely vital for our citizens’ livelihoods, economic growth and pursuit for sustainable development,” she said.
“Kenya is home to one of the largest populations of the African elephant, we have committed to play a leading role in the global fight against illegal ivory trade,” she added.
She urged more African countries to become signatories to EPI so that the illegal wildlife trade could be fought across the continent to ensure a sustainable ecosystem.
The First Lady, as leader of the Kenyan delegation at the IWT London global conference, had earlier outlined two of Kenya’s eight pledges geared towards combating illegal wildlife trade.
“Kenya commits to strengthen law enforcement at key ports of entry and exit to check for any illegal trafficking of trophies through the country and apprehend any offenders perpetrating this crime,” the First Lady outlined.