The “COVID-19 Reset” Project
Since December 2019, the world has been beset by the global corona virus pandemic. To date, there are an estimated 3 million confirmed cases of the disease and 200,000 deaths.
While the economic impact of the covid19 cannot be overstated—according to a recent McKinsey Africa report, Africa’s GDP growth in 2020 will contract by between three to eight percentage points—the responses by African governments have been more focused on containment: suspension of business activity, public transport, and in some cases total lockdown and curfews.
Through the “Covid-19 Reset” project, the LéO Africa Institute seeks to push more forward-looking interventions that go beyond containment of the pandemic, to discussions about a post-covid19 future and how our communities can best prepare for a fast, and sustainable recovery.
A global recession, not to mention potential political and economic fallouts, an unpredictable era of international relations all suggest that regional governments and societies need to invest heavily in understanding what comes next after the pandemic.
The focus of the project will be to galvanize leadership action within and beyond the Institute network, and redirect it to imagine a new, progressive post-covid world for our respective communities and countries.
Building capacity of our fellows in 8 East African countries to effectively respond
Leveraging the Institute’s 67 fellows in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Zambia and D.R. Congo, we are ramping up efforts to mobilize fellows (especially frontline health workers) within the network to respond more effectively to the crisis in their respective countries by availing to them the necessary knowledge resources and tools within our network that can be utilized to promote public awareness.
This will be done through curated virtual conversations over platforms like Zoom that allow fellows to share information with both the network and wider public.
Conversations such as these, while initially focused on the pandemic and raising public awareness, also aim at pushing fellows—already thought leaders in their communities—to reimagine a post-covid future for their communities and what potential collaborations within and outside the network will ensure our society’s recovery is fast and that the lessons learned during this crisis do not go to waste. The Institute believes leadership is essential to full recovery and that fellows should constantly examine their role and contribution.
All conversations were hosted virtually over Zoom and were open to members of the public, including members of the Institute network.
1. Jobs and the Future of Work Beyond Covid19 | Thursday May 14, 2020 | Watch 2. Industries and Ideas for the World Beyond Covid19 | Saturday May 30, 2020 | Watch 3. Between Chaos and Hope: Leadership in a Pandemic | Thursday June 25, 2020 | Watch 4. Climate Change: Another Pandemic in Waiting? | Wednesday July 15, 2020 | Watch
Mental health awareness
In times like these, as more people are forced to stay home, out of work and unsure of their economic prospects beyond the covid-19 pandemic, we are beginning to see increasing stress and other mental health-related illnesses.
This is likely to effect younger people in our network because they tend to be the most vulnerable in terms of employment and yet equally the most energetic and innovative.
Working with Mental Health advocates among our fellows and public health professionals, the Institute faculty curated online seminars delivered by mental health experts and availed to the wider public through our social media channels.