Ayakha Melithafa, 18, is the founder of the Ayakha Melithafa Foundation. Currently working as an intern at the Alternative Information & Development Centre (AIDC), she is the youngest Commissioner for the Presidential Climate Change Committee, a board member at Future Stories Alliance, and a non-executive director at the African Climate Alliance, a youth-led climate advocacy group that organised the #climatestrike protests in Cape Town in collaboration with more than a million youths around the world. A recipient of the Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke Institute’s Women of Firsts Award, Ayakha was also nominated as one of South Africa’s Most Powerful Women by the Mail & Guardian in 2020 She was one of five winners of the Matrics in Antarctica programme. Her activism has seen her represent youth voices from the global south on various national and international platforms, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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