Ms. Ayakha Melithafa

Ayakha Melithafa, 19, is a climate activist from Cape Town, South Africa. She is the founder of the Ayakha Melithafa Foundation and the youngest member of South Africa’s Presidential Climate Commission. She is a representative of the African Climate Alliance, a youth-led climate advocacy group that helped to coordinate the climate strike protests in Cape Town with more than a million youths around the world. Ayakha is also a graduate of the YouLead Initiative’s Project 90 by 2030. Ayakha is a recipient of the Charlotte Mannya Maxeke Institute’s Women of Firsts Award, was nominated by The Guardian as one of South Africa’s Most Powerful Women in 2020 and is a winner of the Matrics In Antarctica programme. In 2022, Ayakha was awarded a prestigious climate fellowship by the 776 Foundation, which will enable her to develop a school’s outreach programme for climate education through the Aykaha Melithafa Foundation. 


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