In June 2015, Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, in association with WildAid and the African Wildlife Foundation, launched a new public awareness campaign starring Tanzanian celebrities to inform the public about the severe poaching crisis currently facing the East African nation, and to generate widespread support among civil society for the protection of elephants and other wildlife species.
The campaign will use television, radio, social media, newspapers and magazines, billboards and videos in public spaces in order to reach as many members of the public as possible, including the residents of remote rural villages.
Tanzania has lost 60% of its elephants in the past six years, mainly because of poaching for ivory. Very large profits from this illegal activity are made in China and other consumer nations, while Tanzanians are left to bear the cost.
Award-winning singer-songwriter Alikiba has become an ambassador for the campaign, as well as former Miss Tanzania Jacqueline Mengi and professional basketball star Hasheem Thabeet. Religious leaders representing an interfaith coalition — including Muslims, Catholics, Evangelicals and other Christian denominations — also recorded messages and offered their support: “We don’t always agree on everything, but we all agree that poaching and the smuggling of ivory is completely wrong,” the leaders said in a PSA released in June 2015.