Former President Benjamin Mkapa Urges Countries To Support China In Ivory Trade Ban

Elephant poaching is one of the biggest issues in Tanzania and ivory trade in Chinese market is wide. These have left protecting elephants.

Former President Benjamin Mkapa urged the African countries to join China in its decision to ban ivory trade.

China lately announced to be banning domestic ivory trade in phases and about 500 people marched yesterday in Dar es Salaam calling for protection of elephants against poachers. The five kilometers march was dubbed as “Walk for Elephants.”

Mkapa was speaking after the march in Dar es Salaam. He said many African countries are accusing China claiming to be a major obstacle towards anti-poaching strategies of the continent.

However, with recent announcement it is revealed China is committed towards supporting anti-poaching strategies of African countries.

He said it is not right to continue pointing finger on China as a major facilitator of ivory trade as the country has become the first in the world to publicly announce ban on it.

The former president mentioned it is time to reach to those countries which have not yet taken such serious step against poaching and ivory trade.

China is the biggest market for ivory and this has led to illegal hunting of elephants in African countries, mainly in Tanzania as it has the largest elephant populations in the continent.

About fifteen African countries welcomed the move saying it signals China’s goodwill in protecting African elephants.

China will revoke some licenses by March this year and gradually by end of 2017, in a phased way, commercial ivory carving will be stopped completely.

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