Dr. Afia S. Zakiya


Member, Advisory Committee

Dr. Afia S. Zakiya is an African centered Pan African Political Scientist, Ecologist, and Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Public Health Expert with over 20 years of experience.  As an Africana/Indigenous Knowledge Studies scholar-activist, she focuses on Africana environmental thought, agroecology movements, the built environment, and Water, Climate and Environmental justice issues affecting people of African descent.

An independent researcher and consultant, Afia was a recent 2019-2020 Sr. Fellow, Water Infrastructure and Workforce Development with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, DC where she worked with Congress and water policy, and with water and sanitation utility leaders on diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges, and STEAM environmental related career and educational opportunities for Black youth.

Afia is a Water Policy and Human Rights Advisor for Blacks in Green (BIG) and volunteers with Introducing American Youth to Infrastructure (IAYI+).  She was a member of the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council’s working group (Water expert) and a 2021 panelist on the NWF/EJPs 21st century Civilian Conservation Corps Climate Economy, and Justice Roundtable Discussion.  Dr. Zakiya is also the immediate past Country Director, WaterAid Ghana, where she advocated for African people’s water and sanitation rights and served as regional climate change lead.

Afia holds a doctorate in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University. Her dissertation on political ecology explored deforestation in Madagascar.  She is the 2022 President-elect of the African Heritage Studies Association and also a Fulbright Specialist Scholar.  A former Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Political Science and Africana Women’s Studies, Afia is frequently requested to speak at national events on environmental policy, politics and other issues.  A published author of numerous edited books and referred journal articles, her most recent article is “Water Justice, Reparations And Human Rights: Advancing Black Liberation Through Equitable Water And Healthcare Policies Beyond The Covid-19 Pandemic” pp. 178-194 in the Journal for the Center of Policy Analysis and Research,  Africa – America 2021: Re-envisioning Liberation for the Global Black Diaspora.  A member of numerous groups engaged in African centered education, food, water, and land sovereignty, reparations, and other movements, Afia has worked and/or taught in 22 African Countries.  She hails from Mississippi and lives in Atlanta, Ga and Accra, Ghana.