Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Image: Getty, Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
Image: Getty, Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP

You are invited to a webinar on Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic from health, scientific, economic and diplomatic points of view.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), in partnership with its stakeholders, will be hosting a webinar to discuss the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the African continent. 

This week, 57 years ago, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was born. From the beginning it was dedicated to the idea that only through unity could Africa safeguard its independence and unlock its potential.

This Africa Day is marked in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, which has swept across the world and left no part of this continent untouched. Thus far almost 96 000 people have been infected with almost 3 000 having lost their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on our ability to meet the aspiration of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 of a peaceful, united and prosperous continent.

Furthermore, the virus has exposed the deep inequalities that continue to exist on the continent and across the world. It has shown how far we are from realising our developmental goals and our responsibilities to the citizens of our continent. But at the same time, this global crisis should enable a new Africa to come to the fore. It should be an Africa of heroic acts of solidarity, an Africa of cross-border collaboration and sharing of knowledge and resources, an Africa that is united by a common goal. The challenge of this pandemic has shown how Africa is able to work together to solve its own problems.

The panel will further discuss Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Moderator: Ambassador Mathu Joyini – DIRCO

  • Opening remarks on the significance of the symposium and the expected outcomes by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor
  • Africa’s health and scientific efforts/contributions to the fight against COVID-19 by the Deputy Director for the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Ahmed E Ogwell Ouma
  • Impact of COVID-19 on diplomacy and governance in Africa by the African Peer Review Mechanism CEO, Prof Eddie Maloka
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s economic development by the former Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Mr Abdoulaye Janneh
  • An independent analysis of Africa’s response to COVID-19 by the Institute of Global Dialogue, Dr Philani Mthembu
  • Prospects of Silencing the Guns on the African continent under COVID-19 conditions by the Chief Executive of the South African Institute of International Affairs, Ms Elizabeth Sidiropoulos

Follow the event on Twitter #TheAfricaWeWant #AfricaMonth

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28 May 2020