Dale Lewis from Zambia Wins Prestigious Global Fellowship

November 2, 2011

NAIROBI, KENYA - Dale Lewis of Lusaka, Zambia has been selected by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public as a member of its global fellowship of leading social entrepreneurs. At an upcoming gathering scheduled for November 2011, Ashoka will be formally recognizing Dale for his many years of work innovating in the field of rural development.Dale Lewis

Dale Lewis is being recognized by Ashoka for his entrepreneurial leadership of Community market for Conservation or COMACO. Through COMACO Dale Lewis has introduced market approach that interconnects wildlife conservation with local farmers who play a central role as protectors of the entire ecological system. His livelihoods programs have transformed families across a region called Luangwa valley from being food-insecure and dependent on poaching to major distributors of food to consumers across Zambia and beyond. As a result poaching around the valley has reduced by about 50%. Dale is currently working in the Luangwa Valley, home to nearly twenty percent of the human population and a significant chunk of the wildlife population in Zambia. His success has compelled the Wildlife Conservation Society to adopt market based conservation and has attracted big global commercial brands such as Wal-mart and the government of Zambia to work with him in spreading his work across Zambia and to other parts of southern Africa.

“I think Dale`s story is inspiring, to say the least,” says Mr. Nassir Katuramu, Ashoka`s Director of Fellow Selection in East Africa. “Dale is a self-made, high-impact social entrepreneur who didn’t have any textbooks to go by. He followed his passion and gut and applied extraordinary creativity, courage and commitment to get to where he is. He has learned a lot on the job and improvised around almost everything, but all the while with a very clear and unique vision in mind. Over two decades later, what was just a crazy new idea hatched by a brave young and unusual American boy somewhere in Africa has become a bold statement for others to follow.”

Dale Lewis now joins 45 other Fellows from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda elected since 2001 and more than 2,700 Ashoka Fellows globally.