Head for Municipal Sustainability at the South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
Green economy is the future, says climate warrior Dorah Marema, who co-founded Green Business College (GBC) in 2017 in Limpopo, which is now situated in Johannesburg. This social enterprise is dedicated to grooming and providing long-term mentorship to “green entrepreneurs” to enable them to set up sustainable, environmentally friendly small businesses. This idea was hatched when she had a rare encounter with a social entrepreneur in Sri Lanka in 2017. She had enrolled for the Global Social Entrepreneurship course at the University of Basel, Switzerland, that included the visit to Sri Lanka that inspired the birth of GBC. Besides a host of awards, including one from the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change’s Women and Gender Constituency in 2015, Marema is founder and was president of GenderCC Southern Africa - Women for Climate Justice, a non-profit organisation registered in 2009, which expanded to global networks of organisations, experts and activists working for women’s climate justice. Marema, who has come a long way since her humble beginnings in Kaditshwene village, Mokopane, in Limpopo, is now head for municipal sustainability at the South African Local Government Association. Amongst her other responsibilities, she ensures implementation of sustainability programmes aimed at transforming urban areas into sustainable communities that will benefit residents by reducing energy costs, improving the quality of life, reducing waste, low carbon while also creating economic opportunities. According to her, no action is small in sustainability, “all adds up to a bigger contribution. We can do it, but it has to be done through a multilateral initiative that involves all of the world together,” she says. She holds numerous degrees and is now pursuing a Master of Science by Research (Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences) from University of Witwatersrand, as well as a Certificate in Sustainability Management at Columbia University in the United States.