African Women as Climate Change Champions

While the voices of women must be included across all conversations related to climate change, it is also important to acknowledge and examine the unique ways that women and girls are affected by the global climate crisis. In many communities around the world, including African societies, women bear a disproportionate burden in procuring food, water and fuel for everyday survival of their families; yet due to entrenched gender inequalities, they have the least access to resources, information and decision making power in their communities. As a threat multiplier, climate change can increase these vulnerabilities and girls may be pulled out of school early to help their mothers source fewer and further away resources.

Despite these challenges, many African women have also been vocal, active and forward thinking in their approaches to climate resilience and combating the effects of climate change. No climate solutions can be effective without the inclusion of the voices most affected by the climate crisis; thus, we hear from those amplifying the voices of women climate change champions and the work they are doing create a sustainable future for us all. In this conversation, we move beyond women as victims of climate change, but rather focus on the ways women are at the forefront of climate change solutions. 

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Latanya Mapp

Latanya Mapp

President and CEO, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (Moderator)

Latanya Mapp is the President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), a global nonprofit that remains at the forefront of philanthropic growth and innovation, with a mission to accelerate philanthropy in pursuit of a just world. RPA currently advises on and manages more than $500 million in annual giving by individuals, families, foundations, and corporations while also serving as a fiscal sponsor for more than 100 projects. Previously, Ms Mapp was President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women and prior to that, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with regional and country offices in Africa and Latin America.

Angela Naa Afoley Odai

Angela Naa Afoley Odai

Head of the Diaspora Division, Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora (CIDO)

Angela Naa Afoley Odai is the Head of the Diaspora Division, Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora (CIDO), at the African Union Commission. She is a Migration, Diaspora and Development expert with 16 years of professional experience. Angela has previously worked as a Labour Migration Advisor with the Programme Migration for Development of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), as well as the International Organization for Migration (IOM/UN Migration) as a Diaspora Engagement Consultant where she contributed to the establishment and operationalization of the erstwhile Diaspora Support Unit- Ghana’s National Platform for Diaspora Engagement, Migration and Development for 5 years.

Naomi Nwokolo

Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria

Naomi Nwokolo is an award-winning international development attorney, currently serving as the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, the country office of the United Nations Global Compact - the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Under Nwokolo's leadership, the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria has become a leading voice for sustainability and responsible corporate practices in Nigeria and Africa. She has successfully led numerous initiatives and programs aimed at promoting sustainable business practices, such as workshops and training sessions for companies on ESG risk management. She has also played a critical role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria through projects aimed at improving the lives of people.

Oula Tarssim

Oula Tarssim

Head of Program, GIZ

A native of Germany to Tunisian parents, Oula holds a Master's Degree in Information and Organization Management and Strategic Marketing from Niederrhein University. Commencing her career in strategic marketing and management consultancy, she oversaw 20+ European projects. Transitioning to Tunisia, she served as a Project Manager at the German Tunisian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, leading initiatives funded by the German government. Joining the German Development Cooperation, she coordinated the Program Migration and Development, establishing the Tunisian Center for Jobs, Migration, and Reintegration. As a Senior Project Manager, her focus remains on Migration, Diaspora Engagement, and Financial Inclusion.


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