Mali-born development expert Dr Oulie Keita has been appointed as Greenpeace Africa’s Substantive Executive Director after an intensive and competitive recruitment process to usher the organisation into a new wave of environmental justice.
Dr Keita joins the organisation in the context of multiple environmental injustices on the continent, namely deforestation in the Congo Basin, overfishing in West Africa, fossil fuel dependence in South Africa, and the push towards ecological farming in East Africa. These are challenges that match the 20 years of experience in international development under Dr. Keita’s belt.
“Greenpeace Africa is at the forefront of the protection and preservation of the environment across the continent in the face of enormous challenges. It is critical to build a movement led by women and youth, the next generation of leaders and custodians of our heritage and environment in Africa. We are confident that Dr Keita will make this movement more impactful across the continent,” said Oury Traoré, Greenpeace Africa Board Chair.”
Africa’s social and environmental injustices are rooted in an extractivist neo-colonial economic model. Dr Keita will lead the implementation of the organisation’s new strategy which, grounded in African Consciousness, seeks to dismantle systems that have historically served only to benefit the colonial powers, still plundering Africa for its resources.
“Africa is able to lead the global movement to environmental justice. We have enough tools for that. We cannot continue following the rest of the world down the same path to climate catastrophe. Africa is suffering the consequences of big polluters. Organisations like Greenpeace Africa are leading the way in the fight for climate change, showing that it is possible to change this trajectory, win environmental and social battles, and promote alternative futures that prize our connection with the planet and with each other,” said Dr Keita, newly appointed Executive Director of Greenpeace Africa.
“African women and African youth deserve a safe and bright future. The climate crisis has dire impacts on women and on the continent’s disenfranchised youth. It is our essential challenge to ensure that governments, polluters, and profit-driven corporations are stopped in their tracks and prevented from undoing our collective future,” added Dr Keita.
Dr Keita joins Greenpeace Africa with experience spanning 20 years in the international development space, working on policy, advocacy, lobbying at various levels. She has a strong background in the nexus of development peace/security, with a focus on youth empowerment, gender issues, and the protection of the environment.
For the past three years, Dr Keita worked as the Executive Director of YouthConnekt Africa, covering 32 countries across the continent, where she collaborated with partners to connect African youth for socio-economic transformation.
Dr Keita brings two decades of knowledge and insight from various capacities with the United Nations (UN) agencies, continental institutions such as the African Union (AU), international and regional organisations, civil society organisations, and community-based organisations across Africa. Dr Keita succeeds Paul Ngugi, who served as Acting Executive Director of Greenpeace Africa from September 2022.