An Introduction to COVID-19 Blog Series “Building Africa’s Resilience: Lessons for Research and Policy’’. Author: Joanes Atela
‘’COVID-19 presents an interactable challenge and lessons to Africa. The all-important question for research and policy is how to safeguard and consolidate the resultant lessons to inform Africa’s resilience in the post-COVID planning and policy strategies’’
The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and is reshaping various aspects of the society. Since the pandemic was formally reported in Wuhan in December 2019, the world has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of infections and deaths The response has also been unprecedented, coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and cascaded to national and sub-national actions through emergency directives, lock-downs, cessation of movements among others. The original goal of these actions was to contain the spread of the virus. Nonetheless from the unveiling situation, it is apparent that containing the virus is becoming elusive as community inflections have been confirmed in most parts of the globe, and especially African countries where containing the virus spread was promising.
The COVID-19 experience in Africa, comes at a time when Member Countries had prepared development plans to enable a transition to a sustainable industrialised economy in line with the AU Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. Indeed, there has been concerns from the WHO and other commentators that Africa would be the most impacted region by the pandemic, owing to its weaker socio-economic safety nets. The pandemic has affected various sectors important to the continent’s growth (cities, tourism, minerals, agriculture among others) and transition to sustainable industrialisation. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to upend the hard-won socio-economic developments in Africa.
As efforts are geared towards developing safe vaccines – as the promising measure for managing the pandemic – many African countries are lifting restrictions and easing the stringent actions including lock-downs. Countries and citizens are eager to revert to normal lives as the race to economic recovery takes centre stage, incentivised by substantial economic stimuli by countries. This potentially creates new spaces for reinforcing existing challenges such as pollution and climate change, urban hazards, among others.
The most pertinent issue at hand is the impact of the COVID-19 in Africa, and the subsequent lessons. The all-important question for research and policy is therefore how to safeguard and consolidate the resultant lessons to inform the management and repositioning of resources not only for development but also as a cushion against future pandemics, disasters and other shocks. This is important because an adaptive and resilient post-COVID African future is critical and requires active engagement through people-centred policies and knowledge that the COVID experience could provide.
As part of building lessons from COVID-19, the African Research & Impact Network (ARIN), hereby presents a collection of thoughts through a blog series entitled ‘’ Building Africa’s Resilience:Lessons for Research and Policy’’ highlighting lessons and insights that Africa can draw for post-COVID reconstruction and policy strategies. ARIN further invite thought provoking contributions from across the World.
Harnessing the Applications of Science Technology and Innovation in the Fight Against Covid-19 And Future Pandemics: Lessons for Science Policy
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Building Community Networks to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa through ‘Last Mile’ Initiatives.
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A transition from emergency response to risk preparedness in disaster management in Africa – lessons from the COVID-19 emergency response.
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