It is with much delight that I officially introduce myself to you all. My name is Priscilla Kirabo and I am the Associate Director of Press Corps for ALAMAU 2021. I hope this quarantine period has been good to you and you’re ready for all the goodness we have in store for you. After a great deal of meticulous planning, preparations for 2021’s conference are finally in full gear and it’s genuinely thrilling! That being said, it is my pleasure to share my thoughts on the conference theme this year, “An Africa united: Fostering resilience post COVID-19.”
The last few months have resulted in a huge amount of consciousness, and to a large extent, unrest. With countries closing their borders one after the other and social distancing becoming the norm, it has been a bit difficult for me to envisage a “united” Africa. After giving it a bit of thought, I quickly came to the realization that Africans are already exhibiting signs of unity during this tough time and we don’t necessarily need to be physically together for these acts to have significance. From Ugandan musician turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, offering to airlift African citizens out of China1, to Woolworths teaming up with MySchool to raise funds for medical equipment and protective gear for essential workers in South Africa2, all these initiatives collectively aimed at softening the COVID-19 blow on Africans have blown me away.
But the most astounding one has been the African Union stepping up, through the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), to review and certify the data gathered so far on the safety and efficacy of COVID Organics, the preventive and curative remedy from Madagascar. With the testing having been done only in Madagascar, global organisations such as the World Health Organisation were left a bit skeptical about the effectiveness of the natural remedy3. It is in situations like these where the unity among African nations, as exhibited by the African Union and other countries such as Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea in testing the efficacy of the natural remedy, is indispensable. Having said that, it is evident that Africa must indeed unite for her to have the capability to recover quickly from the impact of COVID-19. Has Africa yet achieved that level of unity? Definitely not. Are we on the right track? I certainly think so, and I honestly look forward to seeing what the discussions at ALAMAU 2021 will birth.