Promise – Ensuring development projects go further

Shakira Choonara Development Consultancy is a millennial-led, social impact-oriented firm with a long-term vision to leave a lasting mark on the development arena. In this decade of action, we are working towards tailor making each project to suite our client’s needs, whilst maximising impact and accelerating progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We are working towards;

  • Public Health and Strong Health Systems (SDG3),
  • Gender Equality (SDG 5), and
  • Investing in Youth (cross-cutting across all SDGs).

Based in South Africa, Shakira Choonara Development Consultancy already has a regional and international footprint. Clients range from International Development Agencies, Regional Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the private sector.

The firm is founded on a strong sense of giving back, social entrepreneurship is a pathway to equity and on-the-ground impact is critical. Proceeds of all our projects are directed towards community-centred social initiatives.


Dr. Shakira Choonara

I am by no means a traditional researcher; I want to see impact and implementation, everywhere, all the time.  Stepping into the advocacy space allowed me to merge research, implementation and action, to begin to craft programmes which have meaning for women, the youth as well as people living with HIV. 

I have never aspired to be an entrepreneur, yet here I am, afraid, excited. As a go-getter, a dreamer, a visionary, an activist, I want to build communities in Africa, I want to create lasting change and this charts the way.

– Dr Shakira Choonara, 2017 Woman of the Year in Health South Africa, 100 Most Influential Young Africans

Dr Shakira Choonara is a multi-award-winning public health practitioner, the 2017 Woman of the Year in Health in South Africa and a bold activist. She is currently appointed to both UN Women and the World Health Organization.  She is a start-up entrepreneur and founder of a development consultancy firm. At present, Dr Choonara is the incumbent Lancet Commissioner for Adolescent Health and Wellbeing and a NCD Child Young Leader. Dr Choonara previously served on the inaugural African Union Youth Council 2018-2020 and the AMREF Health Africa AHAIC Commission. Other leadership roles include serving on the Health Programme Committee (HPC) of AMREF Health Africa, a board member of Youth Health Africa and the newly founded Creativity South Africa as well as serving as a Guest Editor on various publications.

Tweet: @ChoonaraShakira


Mail and Guardian, Top 50 Powerful Woman in South Africa.

100 Most Influential Young Africans, Africa Youth Awards, 2018 & 2019.

Named one of 100 Future Young Mandela’s, News 24, South Africa, 2018.

Listed as the most Powerful Woman under 40 in South Africa, Destiny Magazine, South Africa, 2017.

Woman of the Year, Healthcare – Woman of Stature Network, South Africa, 2017.

National Research Foundation, Next Generation Female Researcher (Top Young Researcher), South Africa, 2017.

Public Health Association South Africa (PHASA) Emerging Practitioner Award, 2017.