Kenya’s deputy Environment Minister Wangari Mathai won the Nobel Peace Prize today – cited for her work as leader of the Green Belt Movement that has planted more than 30 million trees across Africa.
Her win was not expected as she was not among those in the broad speculation leading up to the announcement of the prize by the secretive committee.
She also broke protocol by saying she had won before the official announcement was made in Oslo.
Mathai is the seventh African to win the prize since it was first awarded in 1901.
With a record 194 nominations, the committee had a broad field to choose from.
The award, which includes £730,000, is always presented on December 10, the anniversary of the death of its founder, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel.
The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, and the other Nobel prizes are presented in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.