Diversity in climate discourse is key to creating sustainable, impactful and effective solutions. By listening, collaborating and fostering conversations we can learn from each other and understand what actions would be the most impactful in each area. The environmental movement, like many other sectors, has been shaped by exploitative colonialism and therefore often ignores the needs of those at most risk. The unethical nature of the protection of our planet is limited by the lack of representation and division it creates. To end the cycle of colonial conservation and climate practices, the voices of those who are impacted by the environmental efforts need to be uplifted, valued and centred.
We’ve put together a list of inspiring young African women who are changing the conversation on climate change. These climate leaders have each contributed to climate solutions, educating and creating awareness about environmental disasters. They are inspiring change in their local communities and through their grassroots activism, taking up space to make the climate movement more diverse. If you are keen to read more about young African conservation and climate leaders check out the Top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders list!
Mmabatho is a queer Botswana woman and change maker. She is the co-founder of Afrolusionist, a platform dedicated to mobilising African youth and creating diverse African communities. She is an avid climate activist and explores the intersections between climate justice and racism, social development, feminism and youth empowerment. She appears in conversation with Our Climate Voices in their listening series on queer and trans liberation in the climate movement.
One of United Nations Environment Programme’s Young Champions of the Earth, Nzambi is a young material engineer passionate about the planet. She is the founder of Gjenge Makers, a company solving Nairobi’s plastic waste problem by creating paving blocks for construction. The blocks also lower the cost of building materials, with the potential of creating more affordable, sustainable housing in Kenya and the rest of Africa.
Ineza Umuhoza Grace
Environmental activist and eco-feminist Ineza is based in Rwanda. She is the founder and CEO of The Green Fighter which centres youth in the climate discourse. Ineza fights for actionable solutions to environmental and social issues and aims to empower young people to be apart of those solutions. She is also the co-founder of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition, an organisation demanding justice for the loss and damage young people experience due to the climate crisis.
Ever Vimbai Chinoda
Founder and director of Speak Out For Animals, Ever, is a wildlife and climate advocate. Speak Out For Animals fights for legal rights of wildlife to protection and inherent right to exist in Zimbabwe. As a lawyer, Ever has used her knowledge and skills to add to the protection of nature and has provided community trainings to spread awareness about animal rights.
Fabric designer and environmentalist Adejoke is the founder of Planet 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle). Through Planet 3R, she repurposes plastic waste into fabric to create unique recycled fashion pieces. She is also the founder of her own sewing school, Jokelinks Weaving School, which empowers young people to learn employable skills. Adejoke is based in Nigeria.
Named as one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans by the Africa Youth Awards in 2019, Elizabeth is a climate, environmental and social activist. She is the founder of the Green Generation Initiative, an organisation planting trees and engaging communities in Kenya. The Green Generation Initiative empowers leadership, nurtures young people, works to make schools greener all while focusing on restoring degraded habitats and fostering diverse ecosystems.
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye
Founder of the Ugandan Friday’s For Future movement, Hilda is a young climate activist who is outspoken about the lack of diversity in the climate movement. In 2019 she was invited to speak at COP25 in Madrid. Her speech centred around the lack of representation from those communities most affected by climate disasters.
As a project manager for the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has a passion for food security and climate-smart agriculture. She fights for more inclusive environmental and climate spaces and advocates for youth leadership and equal gender representation. Elizabeth is also an advocate for solution based climate action which gives back to the communities.
Founder of Libe Green Innovation Liberatha, is an environmental activist based in Tanzania. She is passionate about teaching the next generations about the importance conservation and environmental protection. Libe Green Innovation is a social enterprise that upcycled plastic waste and encourages a circular waste cycle. Through the companies recycling and awareness training, Liberatha is providing environmental education to communities and young people in Tanzania.
Agnes Mujozikua Tjirare
As Children In The Wilderness’s(CITW) Namibia project coordinator, Agnes is providing conservation leadership development to local communities and schools. CITW is a charity that engages schools in environmental issues while supporting children to contribute to solutions. Agnes has directly impacted over 800 learners across more than 10 schools through her involvement with CITW for well over a decade.