Master’s student Shamiso Kumbirai has been selected to represent the youth of southern Africa at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in 2018.
Kumbirai is a member of an iCOMMS research team that is focusing on participatory upgrades in large-scale water and sanitation infrastructure projects. She is also a member of the WEF Global Shapers Community in Tshwane.
Born out of the WEF, the community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 who are working together to address both local and global challenges. With more than 6 000 members, the Global Shapers Community spans 378 city-based hubs in almost 160 countries.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to raise the need for infrastructure development on the African continent.”
Every year, the WEF selects 50 “shapers” from across the world to come out and represent the voice of the youth and showcase the impactful work they are doing to change local and international communities.
Shamiso was selected in her capacity as a water engineer at Aurecon and for her work developing the next generation of women in engineering with WomEng. She has been involved with the organisation since 2011, and served as the development director in 2015.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to raise the need for infrastructure development on the African continent and advocate for the advancement of African women in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics],” she said.
Shamiso, who has experience in bulk water supply and hydropower engineering across Africa, works with the fundamental belief that water must be removed as a development constraint. Harnessing this resource as a tool to help power Africa will change millions of lives for the better.
She was invited to host proceedings at the African Sustainability Summit in 2017 and is spearheading a Sani4Schools project aimed at improving the water and sanitation facilities for a no-fee school in the Mamelodi area with over 1 200 learners.
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