SADC-GMI participated at the15th Biennial Groundwater Division (GWD) conference which was hosted in Stellenbosch, Cape Town from the 14th to the 18th of October 2017, under the theme Change, Challenge and Opportunity. GWD is one of the biggest events in the country which is able to bring Groundwater professionals together to present and deliberate on groundwater issues affecting the region.SADC-GMI involvement in the Conference was two folds:
Young professionals capacity building
SADC-GMI sponsored students (young professionals) who presented posters and did oral presentations at the conference. The students were requested to submit their papers to the SADC-GMI prior to awarding the sponsorship to determine if their papers supported the SADC groundwater agenda, which is to advance groundwater management within the SADC region. In return students were required to use SADC-GMI branding on their PowerPoint presentations, have one slide that speaks about SADC-GMI in their presentation and also acknowledge SADC-GMI at the end of their presentation for sponsoring their participation. The sponsorship for students/young professionals varied, some required to be assisted with registration, accommodation and meals, those who traveled internationally also required flight tickets. One of SADC-GMI’s mandates is to develop capacity of groundwater professionals within the SADC region, and this support was aimed at fulfilling that mandate. SADC-GMI sponsored the following young professionals who sincerely appreciated the sponsorship: Tumelo Mokgatle (South Africa), Magiel Lourens (South Africa), Paulo Saveca (Mozambique), Lerato Mokitlane (South Africa), Sage Ngoie (Democratic Republic of Congo), Nwabisa Makiwane (South Africa) and Luke Towers (South Africa).
SADC-GMI also contributed R50 000 towards the event in a form of sponsorship. This amount assisted the organizers to take care of some of the expenses of the conference. One of SADC-GMI core function is to create an enabling dialogue and accessibility of groundwater information. By sponsoring the event we believed that we were contributing towards the platform that will see groundwater professionals coming together to share information. Also we were able to create an enabling environment which allowed groundwater professions to share knowledge. In return to the sponsorship, SADC-GMI was able to display its products for the duration of the conference. This gave the institute a great exposure and an opportunity to interact and meet with potential partners in the industry.