In what has become an annual event, a group of youths will next week embark on the second climb of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro to highlight the problem of growing crime in the East African cities.
At a media launch of this year’s event, some of the climbers expressed optimism that their efforts would help reduce crime. “This is a very good idea and my appeal would be to our leaders to set aside some piece of land so that the youth can engage in sporting activities which then would help them keep off crime,” said Mr. Joe Aketch, a former Nairobi Mayor.
On February 24, 2007, a group of 14 youths and various stakeholders from across East Africa including public and private sector representatives will climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest summit. Their aim is to highlight the problems facing young people living in slums on a daily basis and encourage them to become agents of change. The climb will be led by Mr. Tim Challen, founder of the Kilimanjaro Initiative who was himself a victim of armed robbery in Nairobi, and Mr. Joseph Ogidi of the famed Gidi Gidi Maji Maji Hip Hop Band.
The climb will focus on youth empowerment and promote partnerships between youths in the ‘northern’ and ‘southern’ hemispheres so that they can exchange experiences and ideas.
In February 2006, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT flagged off the first Kilimanjaro Initiative.
The climb will raise funds to support projects run by UN-HABITAT’s Safer Cities Programmes in Kenya and Tanzania.