We speak to award-winning Greenpeace Africa Communications Director, Fiona Musana about female leadership, community welfare and environmental justice.
Greenpeace Africa Communications Director, Fiona Musana (41) was awarded the prestigious Marcom Leadership and Community Welfare Award this month for her role in promoting community welfare and environmental justice on the African continent.
The award acknowledges the role of influential stakeholders in leadership and development of Africa's people through community work, development communication and innovative marketing.
Ugandan by birth, Musana is a passionate African professional and communication expert with over 15 years' experience in communications, media relations, community development and international development cooperation. She has worked in Sri Lanka, Germany, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, among other countries, and while she travels extensively, is currently based in South Africa.
Speaking to DestinyConnect, Musana expressed her commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change. "This award is not just about Fiona but about the vulnerable men and women I’ve met in in Africa who feel the impact of climate change," she said. "Environmental justice is a vital issue and people must realise that climate change is happening."
"Ask yourself what you're doing as an individual to counteract the risks posed by climate change," she urges. "As a community we need to question what we're doing to protect the environment; we are the custodians of natural resources and we must make sure these are not depleted. Recycle, switch unneeded lights off, don't cut down trees and so on. What's most important is taking responsibility and acting now. It's not about pleasing people, it's about taking a stand immediately. What will our legacy be if we don't do anything?"
Musana feels that South Africa specifically is well placed to do more in this environmental fight. "SA could champion the renewable energy cause and adopt a smooth transition to renewable energy. The country is also well-placed to get the world to listen. It should encourage Brazil, China and India to change their energy pathways."
"Being an African woman trying to remind the world that Africa is not a lost continent and not just a place that needs help, but rather a proud continent with a bright future, is a challenge," she says. "I actually see a lot of the challenges I face as opportunities though. The fact that I have travelled the world and lived in many places means I understand multi-cultural diversities and am able to deal with people as individuals first. Of course another opportunity for me is the fact that as an educated African woman, I am able to get people to listen to what I am saying."
Her tips for leaders? "Listen, motivate and try to identify and build talent in your team while encouraging them to find their own direction."