Michael Mutale from Zambia is the first ever winner of the UNESCO-IHE Alumni Award 2013. Mr. Mutale has been involved with GWP since its early days in 1996, and was instrumental in setting up many of GWP’s projects in Southern Africa.
The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education has provided more 14,500 water professionals from over 160 countries with a postgraduate education. As of this year, the Institute gives an annual award to an alumni who is at the height of her or his career and has proven to be a role model for other water professionals. Announcing the winner of the first award, UNESCO-IHE praised Mr. Mutale for “his dedication to improving the quality of life in Southern Africa and his efforts in solving water resources management challenges”.
Michael Mutale is currently the Executive Secretary at the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM) and former coordinator of the GWP Southern African Regional Technical Committee. His career has been interlinked with the GWP network for a long time:
“I have been fortunate to have been associated with GWP from its nascent stages when I served a member of the Southern African Technical Committee (SATAC, 1996-2001). SATAC was an embryonic mechanism to test how the partnership would function. As SATAC member, a vivid memorable moment was when I successfully facilitated the establishment and launch of the Zambia Water Partnership in 2000. Since then I have been contributing regularly to the various thematic efforts of GWP and GWP Southern Africa in particular, especially when I served the role of coordination of the Regional Technical Committee (RTEC) from 2008 to 2011. At the moment I still continue collaborating with GWP, only this time with a ZAMCOM "hat".
Mr. Mutale’s dedication to water management also earned him a laureate of the Zayed International Prize for Environment in 2005, as one of the experts of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Mr. Mutale received his Alumni Award at the annual celebration of the UNESCO-IHE Alumni Day on 17 October 2013.
All photos by UNESCO-IHE, from the Award ceremony in Delft, The Netherlands.