Wrapping up 2021

Illustration with a metal South Africa flag on white background and yellow ribbons with Omicron virus.
Illustration with a metal South Africa flag on white background and yellow ribbons with Omicron virus.

Dear friends and colleagues,

We have come to the end of a second year dominated by SARS-CoV-2. After a terrible third wave in the middle of the year, coupled with the unrest that engulfed KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, the country was beginning to hope for a return to some degree of normalcy as new cases plummeted … and then our scientists did what any responsible world class scientists do – they discovered a new strain of the virus and shared the results with the world.

We selected this uncharacteristic end-of-year picture for our last feature because in the wake of the announcement of the Omicron variant, several countries across the world instituted travel bans against Southern Africa – without being guided by the science or engaging meaningfully with Southern African countries.  

In response, SAIIA, together with a number of other African think tanks, penned this piece, which was disseminated widely on social media and was also published by der Freitag in Germany.

We will be taking a break from 16 December to 2 January. We would like to wish you all a safe and peaceful festive season and thank you for your support in 2021.

We look forward to re-engaging in the new year.

Warm festive wishes, wear a mask, adhere to social distancing and stay safe,

Elizabeth Sidiropoulos
Chief Executive