The Africa Unusual Working Group is a cohort of professionals working across the African continent who have come together to generate and lobby for practical solutions that can help combat COVID-19 within Africa. A great number of its members are Tutu Fellows, truly attesting to the wealth of not only the programme itself, but also the power and potential of the Fellowship that it continues to create. In an Op Ed to CNBC Africa, the group pointed out that even as countries had shut borders and begun isolating, more than ever there was the need for cross-sectoral collaborations and for governments, the private sector, NGOs, multilateral institutions, and individuals to collaborate.
The Africa Unusual Working Group is comprised by: 2014 Tutu Fellow Isaac Kwaku Fokuo (Ghana), 2019 Fellow Marcia Ashong (Ghana), 2014 Fellow Ada Osakwe (Nigeria), Ory Okolloh (Kenya), Kwame Asiedu (Ghana), 2009 Fellow Lai Yahaya (Nigeria), 2018 Fellow Mohamed El Dahshan (Egypt), Elizabeth Howard (South Africa), 2010 Fellow Eric Kacou (Cote d’Ivoire), Biola Alabi (Nigeria), Aparupa Chakravarti (India), and Bathsheba Asati.(Kenya)
According to the group, given the economic revision of downward growth for the continent as well as the pandemic’s ramifications for the fabric of society, these unprecedented times call for rapid decision-making, coupled with innovative and effective solutions that can address continually-evolving challenges. Moreover, more than ever, they argue that the continent should cast the net wide for regional, continental, and international best practices, while taking into account their respective local peculiarities. To that end, the Africa Unusual Working Group aims to supplement government efforts, and assist in creating mechanisms to provide funding to African innovators and those who are developing solutions to COVID-19 related issues. They rightly state that “Good governance in times of crisis requires a combination of top-down directives and bottom-up solutions.”
You can read the full Op Ed by The Africa Unusual Working Group and their work at CNBC Africa.