Construction World

Young Civil Engineer, Shamiso Kumbirai, at global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon, was chosen to represent Southern African youth at the World Economic Forum (WEF), which took place in Davos on 23 – 26 January 2018. Kumbirai is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, a network of inspiring young people under 30 working to address local, regional and global challenges.

Young Civil Engineer selected for DavosEach year, the WEF selects 50 Shapers from across the world to represent the voice of the youth. Kumbirai was selected for her work in bulk water supply and hydropower engineering in Africa, as well as her involvement with WomEng, an award-winning initiative to support young women in engineering.

“We would like to congratulate Shamiso for being selected to be part of the Global Shapers community. Developing future-ready leaders starts with investing in and empowering the people who are solving some of Africa’s most complex problems. Aurecon looks forward to watching Shamiso represent the youth on the global stage,” says Ferdi Nell, Aurecon Managing Director, Africa.

The Global Shapers community is spread over 378 city-based hubs in 155 countries and their goal is to drive dialogue, action and change. For Shapers, collective action is central to influencing decision-making and some of the visions they are helping to shape include gender parity, innovation and education equality.

Kumbirai says that the diversity at Aurecon is something that inspires her.“The Water Unit at Aurecon consists of a diverse group of people spanning all ages and cultures, and there’s a wealth of experience and knowledge to gain from everyone. The mentoring opportunities enable junior engineers to get involved in innovation projects and find creative ways to solve problems for our clients,” she says.

One of the projects that Kumbirai is currently working on is the upgrading of a water and sanitation facility at a no-fee school in Mamelodi, part of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. She is also a member of the Global Shapers’ Open Africa Initiative, which aims to raise awareness for greater economic and cultural integration to grow the African economy.

“Members of the Open Africa Initiative have been travelling across Africa from Durban to Ethiopia and documenting the challenges they encountered regarding mobility, visa restrictions and the ability to trade. They recently met with the members of the African Union in Addis Ababa to present their findings and investigate ways that the Initiative can support the Continental Free Trade Area plan set out by the AU,” says Kumbirai.

One of the events that Kumbirai is most looking forward to next year is the “Meet the Leader” sessions that are being planned for the 50 WEF Shapers. During these sessions, she will have the opportunity to engage with inspiring business and political leaders.

“We are going to meet people like Sheryl Sandberg, Melinda Gates, Klaus Schwab and Justin Trudeau. I’m especially looking forward to meeting the CEO of Water for People, Eleanor Allen, as I greatly admire her ability to apply her engineering expertise in the non-profit sector in order to help provide water and sanitation to 4 million people across the globe. 2018 is going to be a great year,” concludes Kumbirai.

Kumbirai is available for media interviews upon her return from the forum in February. Please contact Kalay Maistry to arrange an interview for your publication.

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Title: Editor
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