Meet Joan Akiiza

Joan Akiiza is a legal and advocacy officer at the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) in Uganda. She has worked on a land-related mediation process between Bidco oil palm company and communities of Kalangala district affected by large plantation developments.

Joan facilitated the petitioning to the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman of the World Bank, which resulted in the ordering for compensation of the lost land and issuance of land titles to local communities. She has also worked towards building a women-led movement to challenge destructive and patriarchal development models causing harm to Ugandan women’s health and food sovereignty, especially rural grassroots women. This eco-feminist movement seeks to create alternative energy systems which are affordable and friendly for the environment and people’s livelihoods.

Joan has introduced the concept of local peace committees in Internally Displaced People’s camps (IDPCs) and refugee settlements to facilitate land-related conflicts’ resolution community members and reduce gender-based violence. She has also encouraged refugee and displaced women and youth to speak up on issues such as lands’ grabs in the media to promote a more gender equal management of natural resources.

Together with Millius Nyamahunge from Oil Refinery Residents Associations (ORRA), Joan will develop a peer learning project to strengthen their advocacy and media engagement’s skills to promote the participation of vulnerable groups, including women and youth, persons with disabilities and persons living with HIV, in decision making and peacebuilding.