The ARUA 2021 Biennial Conference, which is taking place from 18 to 20 November 2021, will bring together experts from universities, research institutions, government, industry, civil society, international organizations, etc., to discuss the different steps that African economies need to take in order to face global public health challenges squarely. In reflecting on the prominent lessons from the handling of previous and current pandemics, the medium- to long-term implications of measures and steps taken to contain the spread of the virus in Africa will be the focus of the conference. This will be done in recognition of the interconnectedness of the various issues involved in dealing with a pandemic.
Not much has been documented about the COVID-19 pandemic’s full impact in areas such as food security, healthcare, livelihoods, unemployment, governance, economic growth, taxation, public expenditure, and law enforcement. This remains largely unknown, especially in the absence of active and sustainable social protection programmes and various governance challenges. Nonetheless, the pandemic has exposed the continent’s poor preparedness and vulnerability even as the threat of a future pandemic remains real. What is now clear, and therefore calls for an urgent response, is how linked national health, social and economic systems are, and hence the need to be developed together.
The conference will take place as a blended event at the Future Africa Campus of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and is jointly hosted by the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand. Even though the conference was originally planned to be a physical event, arrangements will be made for participants who opt to participate remotely.
The conference is expected to lead to several edited volumes. Depending on the ambitions of ARUA Centres of Excellence, it should also be possible for each CoE to produce another edited volume.
Economics, livelihoods, socio-cultural context, politics and leadership.