UNDP plans for Post Covid-19 era Africa

By Ifeoma Orji, Lagos

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Former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, has set up new webinar series to fashion out a roadmap for building a stronger Africa in post Covid-19 era.

The programme tagged ‘The Hekima Series-Solutions for a New Africa After Covid-19’, in its second stage, previewed the inclusion of women in political scenes and being strong voices in issues that affect them as a positive plus in the pursuit.

The Guest Speaker, the former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says ”the pandemic comes at a time when the world is at a verge of change. Its paramount to look ahead, creating a new landscape for change, a platform that will encourage exchanges and inter-developmental ideas. 

”Africa will emerge from this global crisis and when it does, we should have deep empathy for humanity, empower women, involve the youth in governance and upgrade democratic governance.”

Underdevelopment
The issue of underdevelopment has been linked to Africa for many years due to what political watchers call disobedience to social contracts that can enhance sustainable developments.

Africa is blessed with many natural resources, yet it is necessitous, only accounting for 1 percent of the world’s wealth.

The issue has gotten to the stage where transformation agendas to lead Africa where it ought to be should take the center phase, irrespective of tribe, religion, age and other diversification that have widened the margin.

Sirleaf says ”the new agenda should be transformational and all inclusive to be a sustainable one. Leaders should lead with compassion, not because of Covid-19 but because of things that will be natural. Government with compassion is what a good leader will do all the time.” 

Violence against women according to UN estimates has increased by 20 percent as many victims are trapped at home with their abusers during lockdown.

Her submission on the lockdown
”The lockdown has unfortunate consequences, so many young people especially women who were into marketing and petty trading who seek income on daily basis have all lost their livelihoods.

”The restrictions have affected collaboration…A certain percentage of support for Covid-19 should be allotted to the protection of women,” she stated.

On lessons to learn from previous Disease outbreaks, Sirleaf said;

”Those affected, should be treated with empathy and dignity, there should be follow ups on how they are picking up after the widespread.

”Communication: Consequences of the disease, how the communities are affected, containment measures, community education.

”Coordination: Competing responses and information brings about confusion during pandemics. Common agenda in which everyone will work together is vital.

”Partnership: Financial resources, technical assistants, youth coordination and effectiveness should not be neglected.

”Workers: Health workers, Community workers and leaders who are at the fore front battling the outbreak are the real stars and be should be revered.”

The Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Administrator and Director, UNDP Regional for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa, who is also the Convener of the programme shared her view.

”The world will not survive when only a few have the wherewithal to survive. Women should not be allowed to do all the house works and shun their values in policy making and spearheading developmental and empowerment agendas,” She said.

At the end of the programme, the UNDP listed its standpoint;

  •  The UNDP stands on developing Africa through the eyes of young people while fashioning out empowerment approaches that would grow their talents and skills towards a sustainable development.
  •  The ability to think of the future in the midst of a pandemic is vital. Thinking about the pathway to development and human developments should be the focus of Africans.
  • It will be failure of UNDP if it doesn’t find the trajectory to the future of Africa’s development.

The programme was attended by over 300 participants across the globe.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere

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