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Welcome to the Water Research Commission Biennial Symposium

The WRC Symposium is a key event in the South African water sector calendar and an opportunity for various sector stakeholders, beneficiaries and leaders to come together to take stock, review new benchmarking content and share ideas that will advance efforts towards a water secure future.

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This symposium is an opportunity to facilitate matchmaking of research opportunities and innovations with investors and potential users and serves as a platform for robust dialogue with influencers, policymakers and key decision makers to unlock the South African environment for innovation.

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MEET SOME OF OUR SPEAKERS

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Doulaye Kone

Born in Côte d’Ivoire, Dr Doulaye Koné holds a PhD in sanitary and environmental engineering, a certificate in environmental communication and has studied Physics and Chemistry. He currently works as Senior Program Officer, on the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Program (Global Development) at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His portfolio focuses on innovation to « Reinvent the Toilet » and its associated business models for sustainable sanitation service delivery. Dr. Koné has also worked as Program Coordinator for Africa Water Operators Partnerships’ (WOP-Africa),  for the African Water Association (AfWA), an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) under the Global WOPs alliance framework coordinated by UN-Habitat. He was engaged in fund raising activities and project management to promote partnership for systematic knowledge exchange and capacity building among water and sanitation professionals to speed up progress towards the MDGs. He has also lectured and done research in Switzerland, Burkina Faso and Belgium.

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Dhesigen Naidoo

Dhesigen Naidoo is a leader, a scientist and an activist for social change. He has, as CEO, led the Water Research Commission(WRC), South Africa’s dedicated national water and sanitation Innovation, Research and Development Agency since 2011. He has previously served in senior positions in the South African national government and South African universities having begun his career as a medical scientist in a specialist paediatric hospital.

He works with the fundamental belief that the removal of water as a development constraint and the restoration of human dignity through improved sanitation will positively change the future for billions in the developing world. He also has dedicated his and the efforts of the WRC, in vital local and global partnerships, to achieve the goals of universal access to water and sanitation through knowledge solutions and innovation. The WRC itself operates under the banner of “Amandla Olwazi Kubantu” or “Power of knowledge to the People” as the means to empower a journey to global sustainable development and a better life for all.

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Wambui Gichuri

Wambui Gichuri has extensive leadership and management experience in the water sector, having developed and implemented several regional and country sector strategies and programs that respond to client needs. At the World Bank, she has been responsible for leading the sector strategy, managing a water portfolio including water supply, sanitation, water resources management, irrigation and drainage in 12 countries. She joined the World Bank in June 1998 as a Water and Sanitation Specialist, and worked as the focal point for sector dialogue and as a key team member of operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mozambique. In June 2004, she became Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist, and as Task Team leader and key team member for operations and knowledge activities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. In July 2008, she became the Regional Team Leader, Water and Sanitation Program in Africa, responsible for Africa’s Regional Technical Assistance and analytical program and strategy covering 14 countries. Thereafter, she was promoted to Water Sector Manager for Latin America & the Caribbean between 2012 & 2016.