Today, in the heart of the Karura Forest, which the late Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai fought so hard to preserve, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) unveiled an exciting new partnership, announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, that will educate and empower future generations to take decisive action on climate change and environmental conservation.
USAID Administrator Samantha Power, signed a memorandum of understanding with The Walt Disney Company to create a partnership with Kenya-based conservation organization, WildlifeDirect, to produce National Geographic Kids Africa. This educational entertainment series will amplify young African voices to further inspire their peers, families, and communities on ways to preserve the world around them. Partnerships like this can have profound implications for life on earth for generations.
National Geographic Kids Africa includes a 26-part television series produced entirely in Africa, by African storytellers, showcasing the stories, leadership, and expertise of local conservationists. Other components of the project include a digital platform and outreach program that educates and empowers children to build on the knowledge and lived experiences of communities across the continent. National Geographic Kids Africa aims to collaboratively share skills and promote conservation, education, creative and tourism industries, to create future jobs and expand networks.
Already in pre-production, the National Geographic Kids Africa program is set to begin filming in early 2022, with an anticipated rollout across Sub-Saharan Africa in mid-to-late summer. The series will air on National Geographic Wild, while digital platforms further focusing on exploration of biodiversity, wildlife and the natural world will help expand its reach to a wide range of audiences. The project also includes outreach activities through schools, youth groups, conservation centers, and communities. The outreach program aims to develop a passionate community of young explorers to encourage more children to follow their lead with the motivation to protect their continent and the world.
The National Geographic Kids Africa partnership includes a shared investment of approximately $6 million from the U.S. Government and The Walt Disney Company. The project is part of USAID's family of partnerships with the private sector and local organizations that work to improve the well-being of people and the planet.
This investment also advances the New Partnership Initiative that focuses on strengthening local organizations and the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa by mobilizing U.S. private sector investment into Africa. Worldwide, USAID currently has 750 active private sector partnerships worth about $60 billion; for every public dollar USAID invests in global development, it leverages six dollars of private resources.