COVID-19 in Africa: The Role of African Science Academies

COVID-19 in Africa: The Role of African Science Academies
The United States National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine (US NASEM) hosted a webinar on COVID-19 in Africa: The Role of African Science Academies. The key objective of the webinar hosted on 8 June 2021, was to take stock of Phase One of a project funded by the Partnership for Evidence-Based Response (PERC) to COVID-19.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), represented by Ms Phyllis Kalele, Senior Liaison Officer – African Collaboration, participated in the project and coordinated five national academies in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region namely Botswana, Kingdom of eSwatini, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Ms Kalele was a panellist on the webinar where she reported the key impacts and outcomes realised through the project. These included strengthening of relations among South Africa and the five neighbouring participating countries; enhancement of capacity to provide science advice to policymakers; science engagement; and multidisciplinary interrogation of policy briefs.

The project focused on the dissemination of policy briefs compiled by Resolve to Save Lives (a member organisation of PERC) on non-pharmaceutical interventions to COVID-19 through several national academies of science in Africa.

Other national academies represented on the panel were Nigerian Academy of Science, Uganda National Academy of Sciences, and Ethiopian Academy of Sciences. The panel was facilitated by Prof Keith Klugman, Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a Member of US NASEM.