I love 60 Minutes because they often prepare segments about different areas of Africa, delving into the continent’s wildlife, politics, health crises, and economic development. Last night reporter Scott Pelley reported from Mozambique’s Gorongoza National Park.
The imagery was stunning and the narrative told the story of Mozambique and its decades-long war and health problems typified by malaria and HIV. The segment also introduced us to American entrepreneur Greg Carr, who fell in love with this country years ago and is spending much of his personal fortune (he helped develop the concept of voicemail in the mid-eighties) to help turn Gorongosa National Park into a tourism success story.
“The idea is take the beauty of the park and use that to do human development. Attract the tourists who will spend the money to create the jobs and lift everybody outta poverty,” said Carr. “For an entrepreneur, it’s kind of a compelling opportunity.”
The park was once considered a must-visit spot for safari-goers, but war, poverty, and poaching changed that. In the 1960s, Gorongosa nurtured 500 lions, 2,000 elephants, 14,000 Cape buffalo, and 3,000 hippos—among other animals. Those populations were decimated by poachers and now economic development and wildlife protection is required to return Gorongosa to her former beauty.
According to 60 Minutes, Carr has earmarked $40 million of his personal wealth to the project and through his non-profit, the Carr Foundation, he has an agreement with the Mozambican government to assist with the development of Gorongosa for the next two decades.
If you missed Scott Pelley’s report on Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park on 60 Minutes, you can watch the segment online.