The 2018 World Prize for Integrated Development is awarded to Mrs Graça Machel for her significant social justice achievements and tireless work on behalf of women and children. In particular, Mrs Machel is recognised for her leadership of the Graça Machel Trust, a Pan-African advocacy organisation focused on child health and nutrition, education, women’s economic and financial empowerment, leadership and good governance.
Sponsored by NIRAS, an international multidisciplinary consultancy that aims to be a catalyst for positive change, the World Prize is an accolade for outstanding contributions in the field of international development accorded to an individual or organisation exemplifying an integrated approach in the field. Mrs Machel is the second esteemed Laureate, following in the footsteps of the late Dr Hans Rosling, founder of Gapminder.
“Graça Machel is a remarkable human being and an outstanding example of the impact of integration in international development,” says Lindsay Falvey, Chair of the World Prize Selection Panel. “In addition to her humanitarian work, the Committee was impressed by her leadership of the Trust in integrating nations, programmes and people while fulfilling its mission of ‘multiplying the faces and amplifying the voices of African women and children’. In particular, the support given to women entrepreneurs and their Pan-African networks has delivered significant contributions to social and economic change across the continent.”
The World Prize for Integrated Development and its €20,000 purse will be awarded to Mrs Machel on the 12th of September at the South African Innovation Summit where the best of African and global innovators will showcase their exceptional talents, innovations and ideas. At the Summit, Mrs Machel will be the honoured guest of the Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS) programme, a regional initiative strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship in Southern Africa supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland together with governments of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.
The World Prize is independent of multinational or national organizations, government, non-governmental organizations, universities, and private interests. An international Selection Panel highly experienced in integrated development assesses the nomination.
Owned by a Foundation and its employees, the NIRAS Group creates sustainable development solutions across the globe. With 2,200 employees worldwide and growing, NIRAS implements more than 7,000 projects in over 100 countries, working with everything from construction, energy, utilities, environment and infrastructure to development consulting, the process industry, architecture, GIS, geo-data and automation, as well as urban planning.