Photo Credit: Tommy Trenchard Greenpeace-Twitter
Meet The 5 Young Climate Activists Making A Difference In Africa
Climate change is a global issue and has created discussions around the world. World leaders, scientists, policymakers, environmentalists and even everyday people are concerned about the future of the planet.
Year after year, we’ve seen more young people step into greater roles within this debate. After all, the world that has been forged will affect them over the next decades, and their activism may contribute to reverse global warming trend.
Doha Debates, a media organization that engages people in conversations about global issues through films, podcasts, debates, and videos, honors some of the world’s top young activists as part of Doha Debates’ special #SolvingIt26 project.
Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents for climate change, with risks for agriculture, extreme weather conditions, health, and other issues. These young climate activists will be present at the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021 advocating for their homelands.
“Climate change is having a growing impact on the African continent, hitting the most vulnerable hardest, and contributing to food insecurity, population displacement and stress on water resources. In recent months we have seen devastating floods, an invasion of desert locusts and now face the looming spectre of drought because of a La Niña event. The human and economic toll has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
We wanted to highlight and applaud these young African leaders who are taking on climate change in Africa.
1. Nyombi Morris – Uganda
Nyombi Morris is a 23-year-old climate justice activist from Luzira, Kampala in Uganda. He is also the social media manager of the “Rise Up” Movement.
Among other important issues, Nyombi has pushed for preserving Uganda’s precious Bugoma Forest. Deforestation has taken place at an alarming rate in Uganda, where 63% of forests have been logged in the past 25 years alone, according to the National Forestry Authority.
Nyombi also speaks out strongly for ending plastic pollution, promoting tree planting, and pushing climate change curriculum to increase environment awareness among Uganda’s schoolchildren.
2. Joshua Gabriel Oluwaseyi – Nigeria
Joshua Gabriel Oluwaseyi is a 20-year-old global teen leader and social entrepreneur who was born in Benin-City and currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Joshua began his environmental activism in 2018, when he became severely allergic to toxic irritants from air pollution. As he learned about his health, he discovered the impact of air pollution on Nigerians’ health and how many thousands of people die each year from pollution-related illnesses.
In 2018, he founded “LearnBlue Global,” a nonprofit for Gen Z students dedicated to environmental clean-up and fighting air pollution, among other causes.
In 2019, he was recognized as one of the ‘100 Most Influential Young Leaders in Nigeria’ and received the Award of Excellence from the Young Entrepreneurs Summit and Awards.
3. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – Chad
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is a 37-year-old indigenous woman from the Mbororo people in Chad. The Mbororo are a nomadic group whose flocks and herds have grazed the region around beautiful Lake Chad for thousands of years.
Climate change has caused Lake Chad to shrink to five percent of its original footprint, imperiling the indigenous farmers, fishers and herders who rely on the water for their income.
Ibrahim was only 15 years old when she began advocating for indigenous rights and environmental protection.
She founded the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), which works to generate income streams for women and protect Lake Chad’s environment, among other issues.
In 2019, she was listed by TIME Magazine as one of 15 women championing action on climate change.
4. Shaama Sandooyea – Mauritius
Shaama Sandooyea is a 24-year-old young marine biologist and climate activist from Mauritius, an island nation in East Africa.
Shaama creatively inspired worldwide headlines and media coverage when she held the world’s first underwater climate strike, deep in the Indian Ocean, as part of Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for the Future” initiative.
She was photographed scuba diving and holding underwater signs reading “Youth Strike for Climate” and “Nou Reklam Lazistis Klimatik,” Mauritian creole for “We Demand Climate Justice,” raising awareness for the environmental needs for her home nation of Mauritius.
Shaama began speaking out on environmental issues when she was 20 years old.
She was concerned about the numerous developmental projects in Mauritius that were destroying habitats and ecosystems, as well as the island’s long dry seasons and flash floods caused by global warming.
5. Marie Christina Kolo – Madagascar
Marie Christina Kolo is an ecofeminist and social entrepreneur who is passionate about protecting her native Madagascar, an island country off the southeastern coast of Africa.
Marie Christine speaks out about how climate change has caused droughts, flooding, and loss of biodiversity in Madagascar’s important ecosystem.
She is the co-founder of the Indian Ocean Climate Network, a youth network that promotes and encourages youth initiatives regarding climate change in Madagascar, La Reunion, and Comoros islands.
This year, Marie Christina was one of two young people who spoke to the United Nation Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of International Earth Day, and she has also participated in international climate negotiations at the United Nations’ climate conference.