Dear colleagues and students
Africa Day, commemorated each year on 25 May, is a very important day on the University of Cape Town (UCT) calendar – even more so this year, under the unusual conditions we face as a result of COVID-19. Now more than ever, Africans need to take up the challenges we share with each other and the world, and apply our creativity and experience to help develop solutions.
In this spirit, the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), in collaboration with UCT Convocation and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance (NMSPG), will host a three-day Africa Month public symposium under the theme “Africa’s innovations in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic”.
From Wednesday, 27 May to Friday, 29 May 2020, five webinars will discuss – among others – knowledge systems and knowledge production on the continent; best practice examples in Africa; the climate change and development nexus in Africa; Pan-African reflections on leadership and good governance during COVID-19; and COVID-19 philanthropy on the continent.
Each panel of Pan-African experts will focus on responses by African countries to the COVID-19 pandemic, in relation to governance and development. They will explore the actions required to fulfil African shared values and principles.
Panellists include Seyni Nafo of Mali, Africa’s spokesperson at the 2015 Paris climate talks; Bulelwa Ngewana, Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa; Professor Eddy Maloka, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APRM; Professor Carlos Lopes of the NMSPG; Dr Mosoka Fallah, Deputy Director-General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia; Carl Manlan, Chief Operating Officer of the EcoBank Foundation; Bongiwe Mlangeni, CEO of the Social Justice Initiative; and Saliem Fakir, Executive Director of the African Climate Foundation.
These discussions are important for all of us. Your questions and observations will contribute to our perspectives on each topic. So I encourage you to engage with these panellists even if you can only do so in one or two sessions.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March. This was followed by the implementation of a national lockdown, which has been in effect since midnight on 26 March and has recently been extended to 30 April. The intention of this drastic measure is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19
The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.
To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.