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Kenyan activist Elizabeth Wathuti named in TIME100 2022 Next List

By Hilary Kimuyu September 29th, 2022 2 min read

Kenyan environmentalist, Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti, made the list of TIME magazine’s 2022 TIME100 Next.

The list acknowledges 100 emerging leaders, who are shaping the future of different industries and sectors across the globe.

Along with the 28-year-old activists being granted cover star status for the storied magazine, Mary Robinson, the chair of The Elders and a former President of Ireland, wrote a guest feature about Ms Wathuti, detailing her achievements.

She said that her rallying activism shows us that we all have the power to forge a safer and more sustainable future, if only we choose to.

Driven by the devastating impacts of climate change in Kenya, Ms Wathuti’s Green Generation Initiative encourages young people to love nature while supporting communities to implement climate solutions.

“Her tenacious belief in our human capacity to do what is right should move and inspire us all. She demonstrates that climate action requires urgency, but that together we can—and must—create a better world,” said Ms Robinson.

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Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti
(Right) Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti inspiring school children to grow trees, she hopes to be crowned queen of the environment at the upcoming UN General Assembly this month. Picture Pauline Kairu


Ms Wathuti is the compelling young lady who made a passionate appeal asking world leaders to open their hearts at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow last year.

According to TIME, her powerful advocacy on the international stage has helped bring to the world’s attention the climate impacts already devastating her home country and other countries across the African continent.

While acknowledging the recognition Ms Wathuti said she was honoured.

“It is a great honour to be included in this year’s TIME100 Next list.

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Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Major General Mohammed Abdalla Badi (center), world resources institute vice president Wanjiru Maathai (left) and Wangari Maathai Foundation Head of Campaigns Elizabeth Wathuti poses for a photo on November 11, 2020 at the iconic Sycamore Fig Tree along Waiyaki Way and mpaka Road junction .That was set to be cleared to pave way for the construction of the Nairobi Express way. PHOTO LUCY WANJIRU


Today I especially wish to celebrate the tireless efforts of my friends in the global youth climate movement, who are also fighting every day for a safe future.

Together, we are an unstoppable movement of millions, and we will not tire, we will make change happen,” said Wathuti.

At the beginning of the year, Ms Wathuti launched an international campaign calling for the upcoming COP27 climate change negotiations in Egypt to establish a dedicated loss and damage finance facility to help those least responsible for causing the climate crisis to cope with its impacts.

An expansion of the TIME100 list of the most influential people in the world, TIME100 Next highlights 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, health, science and activism, and more.

The 2022 list features musicians as well as medical professionals, government officials, movement leaders, and high-profile whistle-blowers alongside top CEOs.

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