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The Corona pandemic has posed major challenges to states and societies worldwide and has revealed, in some cases, enormous deficits in pandemic preparedness and response capacity. While Europe failed to find a consistent and coordinated response to the pandemic, the African Union succeeded in developing a continental Corona strategy within a short time. Research institutions in Africa also reacted promptly and used their regional networking, laboratory equipment and know-how from previous pandemics to sequence PCR test samples on a large scale right from the start of the pandemic. The world’s first report of a virus variant came from South Africa, and it was the research teams led by Dr Sikhulile Moyo in Botswana and Prof Tulio de Oliveira in South that alerted the world about the emergence of the so-called Omicron variant.
As climate change progresses, researchers are predicting a global increase in pandemics for which countries around the world will have to prepare. What lessons can be learned from the Covid 19 pandemic? What can Germany and the EU learn from African countries, both in the area of research and research cooperation but also in the area of crisis management, in order to be more prepared for pandemics in the future? How can cooperation between German and African medical research institutions be improved in the future and the enormous research potential of the African continent be better utilised, also in local vaccine production, in order to avoid future dependencies in vaccine distribution? And what regulatory framework does this require from policymakers?
These and other questions were at the core of the discussion to which Dr Karamba Diaby MdB cordially invited in cooperation with the German Africa Foundation and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Dr Karamba Diaby MP, Member of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Economic Cooperation and Development as well as the Subcommittee on Global Health; Board Member of the German Africa Foundation
Prof Dr Christian Drosten, Director of the Institute for Virology, Charité
Dr Sikhulile Moyo, Head of the laboratory at the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership and Winner of the German Africa Award 2022
Prof. Tulio de Oliveira, Director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, Stellenbosch University and Winner of the German Africa Award 2022
Representative of the Federal Ministry of Health (tbc)
Henrik Maihack, Head of Africa Department, Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Sabine Odhiambo, Secretary General, German Africa Foundation
Sabine Odhiambo, Generalsekretärin, Deutsche Afrika Stiftung