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Vanessa Nakate is a powerhouse within the youth climate movement. Widely known for her advocacy on behalf of her home country, Uganda, the 24-year-old has served at the United Nations as the secretary-general’s envoy on youth and launched Rise Up Movement to amplify activists throughout Africa. And she’ll be the first to say she wouldn’t be where she is today without something many of her peers lack: an education.

When she was growing up in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, Nakate’s parents encouraged her to complete all levels of school, including college — a luxury many Ugandan girls can only dream of. She was among the one in four Ugandan girls who graduate from high school, and she earned a degree in marketing from Makerere University Business School. Nakate used the research skills she learned in class to study the causes and impacts of global warming in 2018. Alarmed and frustrated by government inaction, she launched a one-woman strike in 2019. For months, she regularly stood alone outside the Parliament of Uganda, protesting rapid deforestation in the Congo Basin. The ranks of African climate activists have only swelled in recent years. Rise Up Movement ha... Read more

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