The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented disruption in the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, security and legal environment. Think Tanks, scholars, opinion leaders, multidisciplinary professionals, policy makers and futures experts met virtually on the 26th of August 2020 to discuss: “The Future of Africa in the Post COVID-19 World”.
The 10th IREN East Africa Thought Leaders Forum’s objectives included; to discuss the post COVID-19 world in relation to Africa and to discuss how Africa should navigate the Post COVID-19 era.
In his opening remarks, Mr. James Shikwati – Founder Director of IREN highlighted the effects of COVID-19 on Africa’s cultural norms, agricultural productivity, commerce, industry, individual liberties, technology spheres and what leaders and organizations should do amidst the rampant information overload, disinformation and fake news. Mr Shikwati further prescribed a shared world approach in combatting the scourge.
“I am honored to be part of the 10th IREN East Africa Thought Leaders Forum to discuss about our roles in shaping our future.” Said Veni Swai; Programme Officer at The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom based in Dar es Salaam.
She added that the Foundation is proud to have worked with IREN Kenya on various projects that seek to promote liberal ideas and ensure that people get platforms to contribute their ideas in order to shape their future.
The thought leaders called upon Africans to seek endogenous solutions, strengthen local institutions and merge them regionally in order to position themselves strategically in the globe. Africans should place less emphasis on its painful past and focus energy on NOW and the FUTURE
Other recommendations included, among others; Africa should strengthen Institutions, be proactive and stop surrendering leadership to multilateral institutions, create currency regions to make Africa’s currencies competitive in the world, introduce investment policies that will ensure Africa benefits, strengthen regional economic communities, adopt the rule of self-preservation, invest in research and development, challenge our academia, policy makers and technocrats to use their knowledge to solve our challenges and invest in technology, education, entrepreneurship and Innovation to spur economic growth in the continent.
The IREN Eastern Africa Thought Leaders Forum nurtures futuristic thinkers and offers them an opportunity to re-evaluate, grow and think beyond the usual. Since 2011, The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) has hosted a select group of thinkers to identify strategies that will enable East Africans to organically evolve their own socio-political and economic systems.