Nexus Interview Series // Shamiso Kumbirai, SDG Water Investments Officer at Global Water Partnership Southern Africa
With this interview series, we aim to provide a better picture of the people working for the Nexus Dialogue Programme in the five regions Central Asia, Latin America, MENA, Niger River Basin and Southern Africa, and their perspectives on WEF Nexus challenges and opportunities. In this episode, we interview Shamiso Kumbirai, SDG Water Investments Officer at the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa.
Shamiso Kumbirai works as SDG Water Investments Officer at the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA). Together with the partner Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the implementing agency GWPSA, the Nexus Regional Dialogue in Southern Africa aims at creating an enabling environment that will drive cross-sectoral engagement and implementation of nexus investment projects that contribute to enhancing water, food and energy security in Southern Africa.
Shamiso Kumbirai is a Development Professional and Water Engineer with experience in areas such as stakeholder engagement, hydropower engineering and water resources management (WRM) across Africa. Shamiso has private sector and inter-governmental experience. Her experience includes leading and managing the design and construction management of water infrastructure, the development of programs in WRM and the water-energy-food security nexus, technical facilitation of multi-stakeholder dialogue projects, stakeholder coordination and client relationship management.
"I believe the WEF Nexus is central to achieve sustainable development as the conventional approach of addressing water security, energy security and food security separately are no longer valid and the interconnectedness of such scarce resources cannot be ignored anymore."
Shamiso, what does the WEF Nexus approach mean to you and how would you describe it in your own words?
S: The WEF Nexus is an approach to address the complex and interconnected nature of water, energy and land resource systems to better manage the trade-offs that arise from how they are managed at the sectoral level. I believe the WEF Nexus is central to achieve sustainable development as the conventional approach of addressing water security, energy security and food security separately are no longer valid and the interconnectedness of such scarce resources cannot be ignored anymore.
What are the main Nexus challenges in the SADC region? Can you mention a specific example?
S: One of the major challenges related to the WEF Nexus approach that the SADC Nexus Regional Dialogues Project is trying to address is the inadequate coordination of the three sectors at the policy and decision-making level. The water, energy and food policies in the SADC region are sector-focused with limited recognition of the interlinkages between the water-land-energy resources. Similarly, the institutions and governance arrangements are structured around the sectors. Sectors are working in silos (sectoral policy formulation, planning, budgeting and implementation) with limited or no interaction between sectors, overlapping mandates and power dynamics among sectors.
What is the most promising approach for implementing/mainstreaming WEF Nexus in the SADC region and why?
S: One of the key lessons learnt to support the mainstreaming/institutionalisation of the WEF Nexus within the region was to build on existing structures rather than creating new ones. The SADC regional nexus framework was developed building on the existing SADC structures to ensure sustainability. The proposed structures focused on improving coordination between water, energy and food security institutions at the regional level and facilitate aligning implementation of water, energy and agriculture sectoral policies.
Thank you Shamiso for taking the time to answer the questions!
More information about the SADC WEF-Nexus Governance Framework
- Nexus Blog // WEF Nexus framework to strengthen coordination of water, energy, and food sectors in the SADC Region
- Nexus News // Water and Energy Ministers Meeting approves the SADC WEF-Nexus Governance Framework developed by GWPSA
Read more of our interview series "Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it" here:
- Nexus Interview Series // Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it: Irene Sander, Coordinator of the Global Nexus Secretariat
- Nexus Interview Series // Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it: Antonio Levy (Coordinator of the Nexus Dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean)
- Nexus Interview Series //Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it: Dr. Nisreen Lahham (Coordinator of the Nexus Dialogue in MENA phase I)
- Nexus Interview Series // Introducing the Nexus Dialogue Programme and the People behind it: Luca Ferrini (Coordinator of the Nexus Dialodue in Niger Basin phase I)