David John Bwakali's Profile
David John (DJ) Bwakali is a Creative Writer, Social Entrepreneur and Civil Society Leader from Kenya.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Between 2017 and 2019 DJ Bwakali was the Coordinating Lead Author of a UNEP Publication known as Global Environment Outlook (GEO) for Youth, Africa: A Wealth of Green Opportunities. He provided substantive technical and creative coordination of the book. He also mobilized more than 100 Contributing Authors and 12 Lead Authors to write sections of the Publication.
This is how Dr Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, the then UNEP Director and Regional Representative for Africa described the book in its Preface:
“The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) for Youth, Africa: A Wealth of Opportunities, articulates solutions provided by Africa’s youth to tackle unemployment through the green economy. All the seven chapters of the book were authored by nearly one hundred young people from all of Africa’s six sub-regions. They have laid out their concerns about both the state of Africa’s environment and their career prospects. But more importantly, they have provided insights on steps that can be taken to conserve the environment and create jobs.”
Sole Author of two Seminal UNEP Papers on Youth:
In 2011, DJ Bwakali was the sole writer of a UNEP Paper entitled – Harnessing the Potential of the African Youth for Sustainable Development: UNEP contribution to the AU Summit on “Accelerating youth empowerment for sustainable development.”
Based on the success of this paper, UNEP’s Regional Office of Africa mandated him to write another paper in 2014. The paper was entitled ‘Accelerating Youth Action Towards Africa’s Greener futures.’
Regional Coordinator of UNEP’s Youth Project for Africa
Between 2003 and 2006, DJ Bwakali served as the Africa Regional Coordinator of UNEP’s Africa Environment Outlook (AEO) for Youth Project. This project mobilized over 3,000 youth in 41 African countries to establish a regional environmental network and produce a publication by youth, for youth. Known as Africa Environment Outlook for Youth: Our Region – Our Life, the publication was based on UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook Report for Africa.
Editorial Coordination of UNEP’s Environmental Journalists Handbook
In 2006, DJ Bwakali also provided editorial coordination of UNEP’s first ever Handbook for environmental journalists. The Publication was entitled – Environmental reporting for African journalists: Handbook of key environmental issues and concepts. As part of his duties, he coordinated the publication’s unprecedented artistic illustration.
UNEP’s Communications consultant and Creative Writer
In 2008 and 2009, DJ Bwakali served as communications consultant and creative writer for UNEP’s Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI). He wrote powerful stories that were compiled in a booklet known as, 'Ecosystem Management: Some Key Initiatives by UNEP.'
Executive Director, Environmental Africa Trust
In 2019, DJ Bwakali formally founded Environmental Africa Trust (EAT) (www.environmentalafrica.com), a non-profit organization that uses creativity to popularize, enhance and entrench sustainability in Africa. It does this by crafting and blasting sustainability stories and by working lock in step with African communities to create sustainable livelihoods amongst them.
Through his leadership, Environmental Africa has successfully entrenched Maasai women in Kenya’s Kajiado County into a value chain of crafting Maasai Sandals that are sold globally. In addition, Environmental Africa is also creating sustainable livelihoods for women from Sagalla community in Kenya’s Taita Taveta County, by facilitating studio production and subsequent distribution of their traditional music.
Furthermore, Environmental Africa is working with coastal communities in Kenya’s Kwale County so that they can earn sustainable livelihoods from: increased availability of freshwater; ecotourism and climate smart agriculture.
In addition, Environmental Africa is working with numerous communities in Kenya’s Makueni County to conserve river ecosystems and earn sustainable livelihoods from these conserved ecosystems.
Executive Editor, Africa Eco Voices
Africa Eco Voices (www.africaecovoices.org) is a communications initiative that is anchored in the Pan African Action Agenda on Ecosystem Restoration for Increased Resilience. This project is being led by a partnership that brings together the Healthy and Productive Ecosystems Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Africa Office, AUDA-NEPAD, Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature and Environmental Africa Trust (EAT).
Africa Eco Voices aims to foster citizen participation in monitoring and reporting on biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and restoration efforts, opportunities, and best practices across Africa. This Project’s communication products target a general audience that is not necessarily environmentally informed in order to steer them towards increased ecosystem and biodiversity awareness.
DJ Bwakali is the founder and Captain (CEO) of Sasafrica Productions (www.sasafrica.net), a social enterprise that trains individuals, businesses and communities in strategic communications. Sasafrica has undertaken this work in Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi.
In Burundi, Sasafrica worked with UNDP Burundi to coordinate an experiential learning trip for tourism stakeholders in Burundi’s government and private sector. In Rwanda, Sasafrica produced a film documentary, a magazine and a book for ARAMA, one of the leading Rwandan organizations in the fight against Gender Based Violence.
In 2017, David guided Sasafrica to start Sasafrica.Shop, an online store that prides itself as Africa’s marketplace for African products. This e-commerce platform is already empowering dozens of artisans in Kenya and Rwanda by selling their products to Europe and USA.
Radio France International
DJ Bwakali has served as the Kenya’s correspondent for Radio France International since 2011. During this period, he has produced more than 100 news stories and features that were listened to across Africa.
David’s coverage for RFI has taken him across Kenya as he conducted hundreds of interviews that resulted in powerful stories. He has always believed that the story of Africa must be told in the authentic, powerful voice that can be heard and felt in these audio stories.
Sud Nord Funk, Germany
In addition to RFI, David has also produced several audio features for Sud Nord Funk, a German Radio station.
Kenya Indymedia Co-Founder
DJ Bwakali is the co-founder of Kenya’s chapter of the Independent Media Centre (Indymedia). Indymedia is a global grassroots media movement that was an early pioneer of the social media concept. In 2007, he played a lead role in converging global Indymedia activists to Kenya for the World Social Forum. After the Forum, these activists joined Indymedia Kenya in establishing Equator FM in Maseno University.
Below is the story of Kenya Indymedia as reported a global media outlet:
Equator FM is still fully functional and can be listened to in the link below:
DJ Bwakali is the Executive Editor and Chief Writer of EnvironmentalAfrica.com, an online magazine that uses creative writing to popularize, enhance and entrench sustainability in Africa.
He has also written several creative and analytical features for several magazines and publications in Europe, US and Asia. They include the following:
A publication by RITIMO, a well-known French organization that focuses on the freedom of information, amongst other critical issues;
- East African Standard, Kenya’s oldest newspaper;
- Contemporary Review Journal, a respected UK Journal;
- Peace Forum, South Korean Journal;
- Gaudeamus a Swedish magazine;
- Re:public, a Swedish Magazine
- World, a German Magazine;
- Inter Press Service News Agency and
- The Indypendent, an American Magazine.
Below are links to some of his published articles:
RITIMO French Publication
Re:Public a Swedish Magazine
East African Standard Newspaper
Jungle.World (German Magazine)
Editor, Ecoforum Journal
Between 2012 and 2014, David was the Editor of EcoForum Journal. This Journal was founded in the 70s and was East Africa’s oldest environmental magazine. It was published by the Environment Liaison Center International. The journal’s articles were well-researched and well written by writers from all over the world.
Below are the links to the Journals:
David has written the following books:
Rivulets of Love in Africa: This is a literary fictional account of a young Kenyan man as he pursues a livelihood that will bring his dreams to fruition.
Coming to Life: Memory and History of Korogocho Youth: This was a historic Book. It is one of the few books ever written that traces how three youth organisations at the grassroots level in Kenya were started and run successfully through sheer will power and passion.
A Better Joy (Sunrise Poems from Africa Book 1)
This collection of poems from Kenya dig deep to unearth the springs of joy that reside in Africa's social and natural landscape.
Jane: When a Mother's Touch Transformed the Society: Published in Nigeria in 2009, this book was the Biography of Mrs. Jane Ogbuigwe, one of the early founders of YWCA in Nigeria and change agent that exemplified ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Africa Youth Trust Chairman
DJ Bwakali is currently serving as the Chairman of the Africa Youth Trust (www.africayouthtrust.org), a Youth Organization that he co-founded in 2005. It has a mandate for mobilizing and working with youth from across Africa. AYT was created specifically to spearhead a Youth Led Development Model in Africa. It has already championed this model and implemented it in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Kenya Voluntary Development Association Chairman
Between 2001 and 2003, he was the Chairman of Kenya Voluntary Development Association (KVDA), a fifty-year-old national membership that facilitated the voluntary service of hundreds of volunteers from across the world.
Million Youth Action Founder and Leader
In 2008 when Kenya was right in the middle of the post-election violence that claimed thousands of lives and left thousands more injured, DJ Bwakali founded a youth movement known as the Million Youth Action (MIYA). This movement had a singular goal of unifying both rural and urban youth in Kenya to embrace peace and national cohesion as they shunned tribalism.
In 2006, DJ Bwakali was one of the founders of Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), a regional youth organization that was launched during the twelfth Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Solargen Kenya Co-Founder
Later in 2006, David co-founded and coordinated the Kenya Chapter of Solargen (Solar generation) project. Solar Generation was a global movement of young people from all over the world taking action against climate change and calling for a clean energy future. It was initiated by Greenpeace in 2003.
Solid waste Action by Youth (SWAY)
Between 2005 and 2006, DJ Bwakali also the co-founded the Solid waste Action by Youth (SWAY), another regional initiative for unifying the efforts of African youth in solid waste management. Apart from working with youth at the grassroots, SWAY sought to ensure African youth representation and participation in the Basel Convention and other global platforms for a for solid waste management.