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Kenyan Activist Wins Nobel Prize for Peace

Kenyan environmental activist and human rights campaigner Wangari Maathai has been awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Currently the deputy environment minister of Kenya, Maathai was praised by the committee "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace."

The 64-year-old former biology professor abandoned a career in academics to pursue environmental projects, campaign for women's rights and fight corruption in Africa. In 1977, she founded The Green Belt Movement, which has since been credited with planting 30 million trees. Other countries have adopted her methods to stave off deforestation.

Maathai is the first African woman to win the prize, which has been awarded since 1901. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jason Beaubien is NPR's Global Health and Development Correspondent on the Science Desk.