From her first visit in the early 2000s to today, Adumu Safaris co-founder Danielle Heard-Mollel has noticed great changes in East Africa. Major world events, in particular US intervention in the Middle East, have increased tension with Americans in the region. However, it is China’s increasing investment in East Africa’s natural resources that has had the biggest impact. Danielle perceives China’s presence as largely exploitative, with little profit going to the improvement of African lives and racism extending colonial legacies.

At the same time, Danielle notes the increasing allegiance among African nations today. Pan-African movements are making strides towards self-determination and self-empowerment. This manifests in cities like Kigali, Rwanda which has modernized in the hands of Africans, rather than foreign interests. For Danielle, Kigali represents a new Africa: green, global, and growing from its deep roots in African culture and history. While East Africa was exploited and impoverished by colonialism, the lack of development is an opportunity to model sustainable development for the rest of the world. Danielle is enthusiastic about what the future holds for East Africa: “It’s exciting to see cities like Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya) taking advantage of their position!”