Africa in 2021: Covid, Climate and Democracy

27jan4:00 pm6:00 pmAfrica in 2021: Covid, Climate and Democracy4:00 pm - 6:00 pm OrganiserRoyal African Society, British Council, University of EdinburghEvent TypeWebinar & Talks

Event Details

Registration link here

In 2020, Africa avoided the worst of COVID-19, thanks in part to quick government action and strong community health systems. Broad-based social movements like #EndSARS in Nigeria and pro-democracy campaigners in Malawi provided inspiring lessons for their international counterparts. And African writers, musicians, and innovators continued to assert themselves on the global stage.

At the same time, however, Africa faced a number of challenges which will need to be tackled in 2021. The global economic fallout from the pandemic is set to hit hard, including through escalating debt problems. The threats to democratic progress from terrorism and authoritarian governments will continue. And as the climate crisis deepens, African countries will have to battle to be heard globally once again at the COP 26 conference in Glasgow.

‘Africa in 2021’ will explore how African countries will handle the pandemic and its economic impact, how people are mobilising to change their political systems, how societies can respond to the climate crisis, and what creatives might have in store for the coming year.

Join the Royal African Society’s flagship event, delivered in partnership with the British Council and the Centre for African Studies, University of Edinburgh, to discuss and debate what 2021 holds in store for the continent.


16:00 – 16:45 – Panel One: Democracy & Climate Change

Jean-Paul Adam – Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, UNECA

Nasreen Al-amin – Climate Justice Advocate and founder of Surge Africa

Patrick Smith – Editor, Africa Confidential

Idayat Hassan – Director, Centre for Democracy and Development – West Africa

Rob Macdonald – Centre of African Studies, Edinburgh


16:45 – 16:55 – Artistic intervention:

kyle Malanda – Photographer & Filmmaker


17:00 – 18:00 – Panel Two: Covid, Health, Mental Health & Economy

Geetha Tharmaratnam – CEO and Founding Partner, Aequalitas Capital Partners

Dr. Mohammed Abdulaziz – Medical Epidemiologist, Africa CDC, African Union

Professor Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun – Professor of Psychiatry
, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan

Chiedza Madzima – Head Of Operational Risk Research, Fitch Solutions

kyle Malanda – Photographer & Filmmaker

Image Credit: kyle Malanda – ABSENTIA, 2019 explores how the digital age is changing the ways we grieve through highlighting the artist’s deceased sister’s physical absence and immortalised digital presence.




(Wednesday) 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm