Zambian Alumna recognised in global project management award

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alumna Abigail Kalumba Sandala
Alumna Abigail Kalumba Sandala

Congratulations to alumna Abigail Kalumba Sandala for being the first Zambian to be honoured amongst the 50 most influential project managers in the world.

Abigail is honoured alongside changemakers like Marcus Rashford - An English professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Manchester United who is running a program to fight food poverty for school children in the UK.

She holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University; Project Management Professional, PRINCE2 Practitioner and Business Continuity Management Certifications; and a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from the Copperbelt University.

The Project Management Institute’s Future 50 leaders represent a rising generation of changemakers dedicated to forging a better tomorrow. The individuals celebrated are leveraging new technologies, fighting disease, and taking on climate change. They are developing more sustainable sources of food and energy; building residential and commercial spaces with lasting benefits; accelerating efficiency; and unleashing new creativity across organizations and communities.

Most project managers don’t have a job description that includes traveling for 12 hours on a tiny motorboat, eluding water snake bites and almost getting stranded on a remote dirt road in the middle of a national park.

But for Abigail Sandala, distant project sites are all just part of the gig.

Working at the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority, Abigail leads universal access projects aimed at closing the digital divide between the many underserved, rural areas of Zambia and its urban centres. Sometimes that means mapping out the specific locations for new cell towers in previously unconnected corners of her country. Other times that means traveling to remote locales for weeks at a time, delivering dozens of desktop computers to primary and secondary school students—most of whom have never seen a computer before.

“What makes all this worth it is the excitement in the eyes of the pupils and teachers at the sight of a computer,” she says. “For me, that is real impact: touching the lives of those pupils and giving them equal opportunities as the children in cities and ensuring they’re not left behind.”

So far, 549 schools and 3 million students have benefited from the organization’s Connecting Learning Institutions Project. And, as far as Abigail is concerned, they’re just getting started.

She added: “Knowing we’re making a difference supersedes any hardships we have to go through.”

To read more about the PMI Future 50 honours

Read more on Abigail Sandala 

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Susan Kerr