Skip links
Karim Kaboré stands next to his bicycle outside a building in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. /Gabriel Rotich

Pedaling for change: Karim Kaboré’s journey across Africa to fight climate change

Read 3 minutes

A young man from Côte d’Ivoire is taking a stand against global warming and environmental degradation in a unique way.

Karim Kaboré cycles across Africa to raise awareness about climate change. He believes Africa must be serious and proactive about the issue because it is disproportionately affected by climate change, despite its limited contribution to global warming.

The 26-year-old said he chose cycling to ‘walk the talk’ and ensure his carbon footprint was very minimal as he moved across the continent.

“It’s more economical and it’s good for your health. Cycling also avoids pollution because it does not use gas or fuel, and I think that will help us too,” Kaboré told CGTN Africa. “Encouraging the use of bicycles with appropriate safety measures can promote frequent movement and contribute to slowing down global warming.”

Kaboré has visited more than 41 African countries since he began his journey in April 2022. His observation is that Africa’s overall climate and environmental situation is not very encouraging.

Kaboré describes Africa’s environmental situation as ‘poor’

“Unfortunately, the environmental situation in many of these countries is poor, with some experiencing little rainfall and others suffering from bushfires and deforestation caused by human activity, which contributes to global warming.”

It is not an easy task, but Kaboré said he tries to get his message across to everyone, regardless of their social class.  He believes progress can be realized by changing the mindset of the masses, one person at a time.

“I pass on my message in the villages I pass through and, often, in the capitals where I stay. I will try to meet the authorities, the national police force, and, if possible, the minister of tourism, so that I can also get my message across.”

Kaboré said he has received assistance from Côte d’Ivoire’s embassies and missions, as well as from individuals, who provided him with food, shelter, and any other assistance needed. He says he faced several challenges during his tour, including crossing into countries battling conflict and other security concerns.

Karim Kaboré has collected various memorabilia during his trip across Africa, including bank notes of the different countries he has visited. /CGTN Africa/Gabriel Rotich

“Upon arrival at the border, I present my passport and explain to the authorities in each country to obtain necessary stamps and documents, such as a laissez-passer.”

To ensure his safety, he often slept in police stations, village courtyards, and petrol stations whenever the security situation was risky or there was no viable accommodation.

Difficult weather conditions, poor road safety, and occasional struggles with the many different local cuisines are other issues he deals with.

But the warm reception he receives across the continent encourages him to keep going. It also fills him with hope that Africa can take control of its destiny in the fight against climate change.

“I think what I do is appreciated because I get a lot of congratulations from the people I meet. When I arrive at a place, a lot of people come up to me to ask questions and I take the opportunity to get my message across. But in the villages, I form groups to get my message across.”

Kaboré hopes to complete his tour of all 54 African countries later this year in Morocco. However, he doesn’t plan to end his climate crusade there. He is setting up a team to help him spread the message about global warming and environmental conservation.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.