Participants at the second edition of Kusi Ideas Festival at Ciala Hotel in Kisumu County on December 8, 2020. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NMG
Africa has handled the Covid-19 pandemic better than was expected due to its resilience and past experiences in handling a myriad of health challenges.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame said at the ongoing Kusi Ideas Festival in Kisumu though the world had a bleak projection on how the continent would be battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, Africa is emerging out of the crisis much better due to collaboration.
Various speakers cited technology, innovation and focus on homegrown solutions as the best way the continent can deal with the crisis but at the same time keep their economies afloat.
“Our people still want to travel and connect meaningfully with Africans. We must harness the power of technology, create innovative solutions and invest in infrastructure,” said President Kagame in his keynote address delivered virtually. He called on the continent to embrace home-grown solutions to its challenges.
The 2020 Kusi Ideas Festival in Kisumu is the second Nation Media Group-sponsored summit that seeks to bring together the continent’s top thinkers to evaluate solutions to Africa’s economic, social and political challenges and also identify opportunities for a faster growth.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who officially opened the summit, said Kenya’s response to the pandemic has focused on minimising fatalities and dealing with the attendant economic challenges like drop in tax revenues.
President Kenyatta said while the pandemic had exerted fiscal pressure on many African governments, the continent had not experienced the worst as had initially been predicted, attributing successes in management of the pandemic to multi-pronged responses and simultaneous adaptations.
“The current situation is not merely a crisis but presents an opportunity to come up with innovative ways to deal with the African problem,” he said.