Representing the youth at the World Economic Forum 2018

2 Nov 2017 - 13:15

Shamiso Kumbirai, a 2012 UCT civil engineering graduate, has been selected to represent the voice of the Southern African youth at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in 2018.

Shamiso is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers in Tshwane. Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. With more than 6,000 members, the Global Shapers Community spans 378 city-based hubs in 160 countries.

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 their local and international communities. In her capacity as a Water Engineer at Aurecon and her work with WomEng, Shamiso was selected. She said, “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.”

Shamiso is a water engineer with experience in bulk water supply and hydropower engineering across Africa. She works with the fundamental belief that the removal of water as a development constraint and the ability to harness this resource as a tool to help power Africa will positively change the lives of millions who call it home.

In addition to her love for sustainable infrastructure development, Shamiso is passionate about advancing women in STEM. Since 2011 she has been involved with WomEng, a global organisation aimed at empowering the next generation of women in engineering where she served as the Development Director in 2015. Through her work in the water sector and WomEng in 2017, she was invited to host proceedings at the African Sustainability Summit 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 1200 learners.

She is currently pursuing her master’s degree with the iCOMMS research team focusing on participatory upgrades in large-scale water and sanitation infrastructure projects.