Africa over the years has been blessed with courageous, brave, and selfless women who are at the lead fighting for a better Africa.
Inspired by women before them, the young generation of African female activists are undeniably shaping the continent’s future. From political and human rights activists— to feminism or even environmental activism, African female activates—have risk their lives to give generations to come an Africa to dwell in. Let’s take a ride down this blog post as we celebrate young Africa female activists at the vanguard of fighting for a cause.
As a result of her notable work, many do not need an introduction to Ilwad Elman.
The Somali-Canadian activist—has played a crucial role in the peace process in Somalia.
A former refugee in Canada, Ilwad Elman, returned to Somalia in 2010 to continue her father’s work and legacy. That led to the formation of –Elman Peace Centre—a non-profitable organization she built with her mother, Fartuun Adan. In 2020, Ilwad Elman received the German Africa prize—an award for exemplary leaders from Africa advocating for peace, democracy among others.
Among her outstanding projects includes Sister Somalia, Somalia’s first-ever point of contact for victims of gender-based violence. The famous “drop the gun and pick the pen” is her educational project that helped thousands of youths adjust to civilian life after many war years.
Ilwad is an advocate at the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together, which is aimed at “preventing violent extremism by inspiring, engaging, and empowering youth globally.”
Additionally, she has worked with international organizations like UNICEF, serves as One Young World Ambassador to Somalia. From the continuous rise of conflict and violence, Elman never stops working and initiating ways that led to peace paths and gives hope to future African generations.
“You will either love me or hate me, and either one is perfect.” This is the third sentence on Aisha’s Twitter bio—indeed direct and unapologetic . Well, that is her, too, when it comes to activism.
Born in Northern Nigeria, Aisha Yusufu is a social and women’s rights activist who, over the years, has bravely led to change.
Aisha is famously known for many of her fights, but most honorably, the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, which she started alongside Oby Ezekwesili when the Boko Haram terrorist group abducted 300 girls in Nigeria. Inspired by protests in the UK, US, South Africa, Jamaica, and Switzerland, the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls tweeted more than 200 million times, attracting the attention of former First lady Michelle Obama.
The protest, which is still ongoing, helped in the release of 154 of the girls abducted.
“Whatever I am doing today, I am fighting for that little girl I was, that yearned for help, that begged to helped with a textbook so that I can read and pass my exams. If I ever give up that fight, I will be giving up on myself”– ~Aisha Yusufu
The Bring Back Our Girls campaign— created the path for Nigerians to speak boldly against their government and protest when needed. A notable protest was the famous #EndSars which Aisha was at the forefront of the protest fighting against police brutality. During the –Endsars in Nigeria—a viral photo of her emerged on the internet. Aisha was kneeling with her clenched fist into the air while heavily armed men police officials charged protesters.
Aisha is and remains at the fore of fighting for change in Nigeria.
Inspired by Kenyan environment activist Wangari Maathai, Fatou Jeng is a Gambia environment and gender activist with over five experiences in climate activism. She founded Clean Earth Gambia, a youth-led NGO focusing on climate change, gender, environmental awareness, and conservation.
Fatou has worked with prominent international organizations on climate and related environmental issues, including the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change. She serves as the policy lead for women and gender.
Fatou a – Chevening scholar—has trained over 500 school children on climate change and train communities through Clean Earth Gambia. As a result of her impactful work, she was named Top 100 young Africa conversation leaders in 2021.
Serving as a moderator, speaker, and resource person for many national and global programs on environment-related issues, Fatou is one of the 30 youth selected by the united nation youth envoy office to support the organization of the first united nation youth climate summited in 2019.
The South African activist—grew up in Ivory Park, where poverty and unemployment are challenges the inhabitants face. Amanda Nomnqa knew that teenage girls need someone to guide and mentor them; teenage girls’ dreams are mostly shattered when they get pregnant in Ivory Park.
To fight the lack of empowerment and mentorship for girls and women, Nomnqa founded SheIsBrave, a non-profit organization offering mentorship classes and digital skills for young girls.
Despite facing funding challenges, SheIsBrave has achieved notable yet encouraging achievements, among them is partnering with Google Africa on skills development programs for unemployed youth to participate in digital courses.
There are many exceptional, fearless women out there making huge changes in the lives of many through activism, and we will love to hear some of their names from you. So, see you in the comment section.