Born in Kenya, Chris Diaz grew up to become a diverse and certified African and global leader. He is one of the most influential global marketing leaders, recognized and awarded by World Marketing Congress in 2016. Chris Diaz has spoken in notable leadership conferences before leading corporations such as IBM and high-ranking universities across the world including Harvard.
Chris Diaz sees beauty in simplicity and nature. Since 2012, he has worked with Brand Kenyan Board as a strategic board member building a greater and better Africa. He demonstrates his love for nature by encouraging young people to preserve wildlife and has raised and contributed funds for conservation.
The Kenyan business expert is digitally transforming businesses with his Oracle cloud solution finding its way to Forbes for breaking grounds.
Chris, it’s an honor!
Do you consider what you’re doing in and for Africa as a calling, your purpose in life?
Yes, without a doubt. I would say this is my main purpose in life as I really thrive in supporting and empowering especially the younger generation and being a mentor to them. Tourism, environment, and wildlife are related to earning millions of dollars for Africa and as well as creating employment in Africa and globally.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we used to have over 60 million tourists visiting Africa, but now we are facing a big challenge. The world is having a major recession, and in the next few years, it will be tougher and more challenging for all of us.
But this shouldn’t really break our hearts, we should take this as an opportunity to preserve our environment and wildlife by creating digital awareness and coming up with sustainable strategies that will support long term partnerships between governments, international partners, and the private sectors.
Some leaders would agree, and some would disagree that passion isn’t what one has but what one discovers. So, have you always had passion for leadership or at what point did you discover your passion for it?
As a leader, however, I would say that the key to becoming a great leader is your ability to nurture leaders. Shared leadership entails empowerment and strong teamwork along the journey of growth and achievement. Shared leadership brings greatness in teams and leadership networks which encourage excellence.
I have always been passionate about leadership. And with the experience in life, I’ve learned that there is certainly more than one way to discover what one is truly passionate about and how you make a difference for future generations to benefit.
I tend to believe that as long as we are alive, we are always rediscovering ourselves. And in the process, we get to learn new things and have a purpose to conserve and protect our environment and animals.
I believe that we should really mentor young people and give them a chance to share their ideas with us.
What do you think about the Africa-France summit with President Macron inviting African youths rather than its leaders for a discussion devoted to developments in Africa?
I would like to commend President Emmanuel Macron of France among other leaders for inviting African youths rather than its leaders for a discussion devoted to developments in Africa.
This was a great move and I think that President Macron has the right intentions for developing Africa by targeting the right people who are the youth and who are truly hungry for a change! It is definitely a way of empowering the African youth while mobilizing them to get involved in agriculture, civil society, culture, and sports. This is the way for biodiversity in the world to get saved. Presidents in Africa are also joining hands with the newly elected President Joe Biden to improve business and lives.
In conclusion, we need to work closely with the youth and also mentor them into becoming worldwide leaders to bring change to our society.
We should also adopt sustainable ways of conserving the environment. Technology is, however, said to be both the source of environmental damage and our best hope to building a sustainable future.
For instance, researchers used a range of technologies including sensors mounted on drones, electrical airplanes, and even Google Street View cars to measure emissions at every link in the supply chain, from remote wellheads to pipes under your local street.
We need to create and use new technology for waste management and efficient use of more renewable energy for our future investments. The Worldwide and the International Energy Agency (IEA) reckons that oil and gas methane emissions are about 75 million metric tons enough to generate all of Africa’s electricity twice over. The IEA estimates that the industry could reduce those emissions by 75% using existing technologies (two-thirds of that at no net cost). EDF, a British integrated energy company with operations spanning electricity generation is calling for a 45% reduction in global oil and gas methane emission by 2025.
So far, you’ve been at the frontline advocating for conservation, encouraging young people to visit parks, and protect wildlife. As a young man growing up in Kenya, how did you develop this level of enthusiasm for conservation?
As kids, many of us had dreams of growing up by the beach, and as fate would have it, I was lucky enough to be among those who were born and bred along with the Kenyan Coast home. Having been raised in a humble environment, in Mombasa, the Indian ocean made my home a historical trading and tourism center.
This among many experiences made my home appealing to tourists. The sight, smell of fresh food cooked with coconut flavors, was simply amazing. It is spectacular to sit and eat chili cassava and roasted maize on the streets facing the ocean. And also the long white sands that lined the coastline, the vast mass of crystal clear waters that slapped and slopped serenely along the shores (in and out, in and out) in tandem with the waves, capped by tall, magnificent coconut trees that were sparsely distributed along the beach.
Witnessing all the beauty, and all the tourists traveling from all over the world just to catch a glimpse made me develop quite an enthusiasm for conversation. Today we are facing climate change, global warming, and sadly oceans across the world with plastic waste. We need to protect the ocean life and especially the marine and coral life that makes our waters and beach the best destinations for tourists.
So, Chris due to a great level of poaching, only two northern white rhinos are remaining in the world. Do you think the measures taken by respective bodies responsible for wildlife conservation are effective enough to prevent the second largest mammal on land from going into extinction?
My answer to that question would be that the measures can never be enough if we don’t preserve the environment in which these beautiful creatures live in. Change has to come starting at home by all people of the world, especially the youth.
For instance, I think we can do more by building organizations for volunteers in order to protect forests, grasslands, and coastal ecosystems by planting original species; and manually removing invasive plant species; and taking out old fences; and stopping conflict between man and nature.
We should as a matter of fact adopt recycling and waste management as one of our day-to-day activities. And not forgetting about energy, we should certainly save energy by driving less, using energy-efficient vehicles and appliances, and well, simply turning off the lights whenever we leave a room. Renewable energy projects to use natural resources is the way to go. Sun, wind, and others will change our energy systems and promote a healthy environment.
And as we all know, many power plants rely on coal and other fossil fuels that damage wildlife habitat. When they are extracted, they pollute the environment and contribute to climate change when burned.
As we also know, talk about our much-loved wildlife, the endangered species, there are only two white northern rhinos remaining in the world. Conservationists and scientists have been looking for many genetic ways that they can change to increase breeding to save the rhino population in the world. The good news is that last year a scientist harvested 10 eggs from the last two remaining northern white rhinos in the race to prevent the species from going into extinction. The two females named Najin and Fatuwill, a mother and daughter, live in the Ol Pejeta conservancy. The harvested eggs however resulted to 3 viable embryos that are now frozen.
The future of the world is in our hands. We can do many small actions that will result in a big change for the younger generation to have a happy, healthy, and better life across the world.
My call is to the youth to join global conservation programs and work together for a better future.
Thank you for talking to us, Chris Diaz.
By Elijah Christopher,