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Hlengiwe Cele  

Standing on the shoulders of South African giants – Dr Inga Jacobs

Congratulations to Dr Inga Jacobs, the Water Research Commission’s (WRC) Executive Manager for Business Development, Marketing and Communications, for winning the prestigious 2014 Young Water Professionals (YWP) Award in Portugal, Lisbon.  The award recognizes her excellent work in political science and her active role in the International Water Association (IWA).

As the award winner, Jacobs has become the honourable IWA Young Water Professionals Ambassador for 2014 to 2016. 

The Young Water Professionals Award is the highest recognition an individual member (under the age of 35) can receive within the International Water Association and has been awarded biennially to one exceptional YWP since 1999. The 2014 award recognizes Jacobs’ significant contribution to the Young Water Professionals network and her impact in the water sector.

On receiving the award Jacobs said “I feel proud that the work we are doing in South Africa has been recognized globally – this award is not only for me but it is for all the South African YWPs that came before me, who built the foundation on which I could grow. People like Jo Burgess and TG Barnard, Henry Roman and Dot Zandberg, and also Lester Brown more recently, made my work a lot easier.”

Jacobs is a bubbling, smiling and energetic person ready to take on any challenge, confirmed her peer, Dr Tobias Barnard. "In the last few years Inga has shown how to apply the principles that the IWA YWP segment promotes to not only contribute to the water sector but improve her own understanding of the water sector’’ commented Barnard.

Jacobs served as the IWA YWP Chair between 2010 and 2012 and has also served on the boards of IWA and WISA as YWP representative.

According to WRC Research Manager, Dr Jo Burgess, Jacobs is a very special person and typifies everything that IWA YWP stands for. She has combined disciplines that do not normally go together, and from that created a unique ability for complexity thinking and transdisciplinarity.  She is a role model to all young professionals and to everyone in the water sector.

Jacobs has played a major role in the IWA YWP and the South Africa YWP committees as well as in arranging various YWP events, including South Africa’s YWP Regional conference with 420 participants.

Contact: Dr Inga Jacobs, email: ingaj@wrc.org.za


Dr Glen Diagger, former president of the IWA and Dr Inga Jacobs   
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