As the initial threats of COVID-19 transmission reached the African continent, Dalberg’s Edwin Macharia and Amref’s Dr. Githinji Gitahi began talking. If a disease this infectious could wreak havoc on countries across the Global North, what might it mean for the Global South – and Africa specifically? How could leadership responses be tuned to meet a new challenge that would match other infectious diseases in scale, and place a weight on already-burdened healthcare systems?
An initial output of this discussion was the first edition of the Africa Dialogues: COVID-19 Response webinar – a forum that spotlights the local insights, on-the-ground intelligence, and Africa-specific frameworks that can help leaders across the public, private, and social sectors access new perspectives and insights.
The first edition of the webinar was oversubscribed within a day, and requests for recording came in across the week that followed. Edwin and Dr. Githinji struck a chord for people around the world with what they shared. Beyond the current news cycle, they were covering crisis in general – and how it can be more effectively navigated with innovative new tools and approaches. This was the start of the Africa Dialogues: COVID-19 Response series.
Africa Dialogues: Phase II will focus on building back better – rebuilding and strengthening health systems in Africa during and beyond the pandemic, to protect populations from future emergencies and deliver quality, affordable health care to all. The webinars will bring together political leaders, technical experts, opinion shapers, community leaders, activists and more to highlight best practices, policy recommendations, success stories, home-grown solutions, and opportunities for collaboration to address the current and emerging challenges facing the African health sector.