The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe economic consequences across Africa.
Even as the continent is still in the middle of the outbreak, some have started to imagine and prepare for recovery beyond the pandemic. Different sectors of the economy have been gravely affected including agriculture, import and export; countries that relied on tourism have lost out with minimal travel and are now trying to figure out how to reopen the tourism sector without putting their people’s lives at risk.
Wibena Impact a non-political non-profit making organization organized a virtual conference to discuss Africa’s situation beyond Covid-19. The aim of the conference was to sensitize people on the impact of the pandemic in Africa and suggest way forward especially for businesses, youth, policy developers and governance.
Several areas were covered including Development and health policy, leadership and African Continental Free Trade Area among others. The able panel of discussants included Dr. Bobadoye Ayodotun who spoke on the effects of the pandemic and the vaccination exercise that is going on across the continent. Dr. Ayodotun responded to questions that were raised regarding the fast pace at which a vaccine was acquired which was the fastest in the history of vaccines. He said it may have happened because of the severity of the pandemic and the fact that the whole globe had been affected; different from previous cases where Africa would often be the only place affected. He emphasized that in the process of manufacturing the vaccine the production was shortened but not the science of it. He pointed out that some of the side effects that have been reported could happen with many vaccines not just the ones being used for Covid-19
Dr. Coach Achu Gustave spoke on the African continental Free Trade Area Policy and said the continent is rich in natural resources and arable land what has eluded it though, is the power to broker deals and negotiate as one block. He called for the push of regional trade and economic integration. He said Afcfta is one of the key projects of the agenda 2063.
Ousman Touray who manages a family business but also volunteers with Wings of Hope The Gambia, decried the lack of visionary leaders on the continent. He mentioned times of incredible leaders like Thomas Sankara who are still revered to date and wondered why the continent no longer has leaders working for the citizens. Majority of them seem to be driven by selfish interests, he said.
Health science student Aloyce Urassa echoed the fact that poor leaders lead to poor systems. He said there is need for Africa based scientific research and development, and urged other health systems not to be forgotten as efforts are channeled towards managing and eradicating Covid-19.
The event was graced by over 100 participants live and more than 1500 watching from different corners of the continent. There was a performance by celebrated Kenyan based poet Spontaneous The Poet.
Wibena Impact is committed to bringing together different African citizens to share experiences and identify solutions to African problems as well as encourage one another to tell the African story, for now this will continue to be done through virtual events.
To watch the entire conversation on Africa Beyond Covid-19 please click on the link below
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