Pretoria, 24 April 2020 – In an interactive webinar hosted by MyHealthTV.com, UNDP Resident Representative, Dr Ayodele Odusola joined Professor Lucky Mathebula, a Public Policy Analyst of the Thinc Foundation to talk about the Capability of the African State to withstand COVID-19 and independently deal with post COVID-19 reconstruction. The webinar was held on 23 April and was attended by stakeholders from government, UNDP global, academia and civil society.

In their opening remarks, both acknowledged the destructive nature of COVID-19 challenging, not only state, but also human capabilities changing the way we behave, work and govern. “COVID-19 is like a tectonic storm shattering the foundations of states and institutions in Africa and across the world” said Dr Odusola in his description.

In using South Africa as a case example, Professor Mathebula observed how the country’s response is a demonstration of its experience with HIV and how this is growing people’s trust in government. “We are living in a condition of emergency, but we are not in a state of emergency because there is a Disaster Management Act that allows us to navigate the condition of emergency without having a state of emergency” he said.

Challenges acknowledged by the speakers included insufficient data and information to find and identify the worst affected; weak health systems; spatial inequalities, pre-existing conditions like HIV/AIDS; malnutrition and poverty. Opportunities, however, include the vast amount of innovation coming from various institutions and individuals across Africa – examples from South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal and Kenya shared. With this, Dr Odusola called for continued support from government and private sector to support small and medium enterprises to prepare for early recovery.

The webinar concluded with a recognition of a paradigm demonstrating Africa’s transformational thinking promising a readiness for Africa to reconstruct itself post COVID-19.

Follow this link for a full recording of the webinar

For more information, or media interviews please contact:

United Nations, Rhulani Lehloka: 0663071827/rhulani.lehloka@undp.org  

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