KAMPALA — Regional countries have been urged to put aside the geopolitical squabbling and collaborate more in the fight against Coronavirus through information and policy sharing and pooling of intervention resources.
Day one of the virtual Kampala Geopolitical Conference began with experts’ outlook session—discussing: “Why and how the COVID-19 pandemic should help us reimagine subsidiarity and solidarity for a better world”.
The tone of the session was pragmatic, with panelists all agreeing that COVID-19 has certainly taught the world some lessons on
governance and others attributes.
Speaking at a panel discussion of three, Beatrice Kirabo, a former Deputy Secretary General of East African Community emphasized the need for the region to stand together in the fight against Covid-19 — saying unity will ensure better results.
“If there was regional coherence in approach to policies and togetherness, our countries could have taken certain actions together in a more coordinated manner and I think the approach could have produced a little better results,” she said.
Initial attempts by the EAC to coordinate action by member states have not been successful and there are continued fears that certain groups, such as truck drivers in East Africa, are still spreading the virus from countries such as Tanzania and Burundi who refused to instate coronavirus containment rules.
Commenting on the same, World Health Organization (WHO) Uganda Country Representative Dr. Yonas Tegegn said some states especially in Africa are more concerned about their sovereignty than solidarity in the fight against the pandemic.
“If you want the world to survive future pandemics, member states will have to give out some degree of their their sovereignty for the sake of solidarity,” Dr. Yonas who is at fore front of fighting Covid-19 in Uganda said.
Dr. Yonas has praised Uganda for managing to curb the spread of coronavirus.
He said early interventions played a crucial role in curbing the virus’ spread.
Dr. Yonas also described as “false” suggestions that cases and deaths in were significantly under-reported.
“We may not have been picking up all the cases, just like in other parts of the world. The survey we I did indicated we are in the right path”.
“One thing which we’re very proud about Uganda, is its transparency. Whatever the healthy professionals know, they aren’t hiding it”.
The Italian Ambassador to Uganda Mr. Massimiliano Mazzanti said that although the European Union delayed to take action on the coronavirus, the region. had mechanisms and supporting policies of working together which has since paid off.
“The problem was then containing something that wasn’t known but our the response paid off”.
All speakers urged that countries need to intensify actions aimed at containing the spread of the respiratory disease including joint enhanced surveillance measures and collective actions.
Africa continues to see contrasting statistics in different parts as some countries report declining tallies while others see a resurgence in the numbers of cases.
The conference organized by the Embassy of France in Uganda, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), UN Women Uganda, Makerere University, Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) France, and Alliance Française de Kampala.
The first two editions of the Kampala Geopolitics were held at Makerere University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa, known for its [past] vibrant debating culture and for training numerous post-independent African leaders.