African Youth Responses To COVID-19 With UNESCO
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a period of uncertainty for millions of young people in Africa, disrupting schools and academic calendars, forcing businesses to close and exacerbating job uncertainty and unemployment, with the entertainment and social gatherings having been impacted negatively.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a serious challenge to the global economy but it has also presented an opportunity, notably for several young people across the continent to proffer innovative and creative solutions to the numerous needs of their peers and neighborhoods. In several cases, these solutions have helped place their communities ahead of the curve, changing processes and providing lifesaving systems.
From the production of hand sanitizers and protective equipment to the development of reliable data forecasting using social media technologies, the youth are also leading sophisticated inventions as ventilators or sensor-enabled sanitizing equipment, thus demonstrating outstanding skills and innovation to bring solutions in the struggle to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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Unfortunately, only very few of these initiatives are visible, acknowledged or even promoted as deserved, and they do not get the much needed attention and support from state and non-state actors, philanthropic institutions and diaspora, for effective deployment and even scaling up, as the case may be, to address the most pressing challenges of the moment. Above all, youth inventors and innovators still have to maneuver through the challenging business environment in several countries usually exacerbated by bureaucracies, man-made challenges, not to speak about patenting.
Riding on the momentum built from the First webinar on harnessing the Power of Sport in a time of Crisis: Engaging African Youth in the Fight against COVID-19 and beyond, this webinar is designed to create a platform for experience sharing for youth, by youth and on the youth-led innovative solutions tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. It will offer a safe space for discussions and exchange of ideas and experience on challenges young people face in the innovation path. The Webinar will, therefore, address young innovators experiences and challenges, enabling environment for their solutions to upscale social impact across the continent, as well as their motivations and resilience capacity. It will also explore the support available across Africa and the pre-conditions to leverage on such opportunities as well as examine the existing solutions and legal frameworks available to protect youth innovation.
- Date: Friday May 22, 2020
- Time: 12 noon (GMT+1)
Translations available in English and French
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Key speakers and innovators for this session are:
- Dr. Albino Bol, Honorable Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Republic of South Sudan
- Dr Georges Kosimbei, Director, Innovation Incubation & University-Industry Linkages,
- Fidel Makatia, Team Leader, TIBA VENT Ventilator, Kenyatta University (Kenya)
- Ms. Valerie Dabady, African Development Bank (AFDB)
- John Afolayan, Techmergency (Nigeria)
- Mathias Angule, Mbali, Health App (Kenya/South Africa)
- Achaleke Christian Leke, Coordinator, Local Youth Corner, (Cameroon)
- Taha Grah, SmartGreen, (Tunisia)
- Caroline Muhwezi, Programme Specialist Generation Unlimited, UNICEF
- Oluwatobiloba Moody, Program Officer, World Intellectual Property Organization, Nigeria Office
This webinar is mainly targeted at youth in Africa, including members of UNESCO existing networks such as Pan African Youth Network for Culture of Peace, AU Youth Networks, and UNESCO Youth Forum, but people from across the globe who are interested in or concerned about youth’s innovation and creativity are cordially welcomed.
Format/Technical specification/Language of the Online Forum
This webinar is designed to provide a platform for youth to share experience of innovative and creative actions in the fight against the COVID-19 as well as to bridge communication with policy makers and other key stakeholders on the topic of creating an empowering and enabling environment for youth’s social innovation. The platform will be Zoom with live streaming on social media and simultaneous interpretation provided in English and French.