The Africa Roundtable - English Edition

Global Perspectives Initiative

The Africa Roundtable is a new forum for decision-makers from politics, business and society on European-African cooperation. The current urgent questions and challenges of the neighboring continents as well as partnership approaches and models of future cooperation are discussed. read less


He alerted the world on monkeypox - and was ignored | Prof. Dimie Ogoina
He alerted the world on monkeypox - and was ignored | Prof. Dimie Ogoina
After more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the emergence of a new epidemic has surprised many people. However, the global outbreak of monkeypox was predictable and perhaps could have been avoided. Back in 2017, Dimie Ogoina pointed out a possible outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria and sounded the alarm. In 2019, a scientific study was published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases discussing the findings. But until the disease reached Europe and North America, little attention was paid to the steadily rising cases in Nigeria. It wasn't until recently that NPR picked up on the issue.  In this episode, we talk with Dimie and discuss what lessons he draws from the monkeypox outbreak for improved pandemic preparedness worldwide. Dimie, a member of WHO's Monkeypox Emergency Committee, questions the double standard in the global science community and a persistent inequality in responses between North and South. Still, findings from the global South often find little regard and solutions from the global North are repeatedly not shared globally. In African countries where monkeypox is endemic, there are little to no vaccines, while European and North American countries have started systematically vaccinated at-risk groups.  The New York Times rightly asks what the world has learned from Covid-19 if we repeat the same mistakes of ignoring and excluding valuable inputs. Diseases know no borders. Now more than ever, we would do well to shed our Western hubris, in order to be prepared for the many future challenges.
Neglected Tropical Diseases: A potential roadmap forward  | Dr. Borna Nyaoke Anoke
Neglected Tropical Diseases: A potential roadmap forward | Dr. Borna Nyaoke Anoke
Over the last two years, a public health crisis has been at the forefront of our news. However, other health emergencies continue to receive very little or no attention at all. More than one billion people globally are affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), a grouping of diseases which is made up of 20 different conditions, some more known such as Dengue or Rabies, and some much less known. In most cases, these diseases occur in tropical areas and therefore often in lower and middle income countries, and they disproportionately affect women and children. NTDs rarely receive as much attention when it comes to global health policies or funding in comparison to, for example, HIV or Malaria. And the consequences of this neglect have been devastating on a health, social and economic level.Today's episode of The Africa Roundtable explores:Has the COVID-19-pandemic been helpful for highlighting health challenges in the Global South? Has there been a donor fatigue when it comes to funding?How can the relationship between African and European nations be described when it comes to pharmaceutical research and specifically to NTDs? What are the biggest challenges in researching affordable remedies? And is there a more appropriate way to deliver affordable medicine? Dr. Borna Nyaoke Anoke is a Kenyan physician and a senior project manager for clinical trials related to NTDs at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative.  Additionally, she works on COVID-19 and antibiotic research. She was named in Business Daily's Africa Top 40 Under 40 Women is a renowned public health expert and founder of the Hema Foundation, a Nairobi based NGO working on physical and mental health for marginalized groups and environmental health. She holds multiple degrees from the University of Nairobi, the University of Liverpool and the Harvard School of Medicine.
G7 needs a new geopolitical partner | Dr Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili
G7 needs a new geopolitical partner | Dr Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili
The G7 hold over 50% of global net wealth: Why is it in their interest to strengthen the economic recovery of Africa? How can Africa create a return on investments for G7 countries?With 35 selected experts from business, politics and civil society, the topics of Recovery, Preparedness and Resilience in Times of Crises were discussed at The Africa Roundtable in Berlin on May 12, 2022. The overall message of the forum was to not succumb to despair in the face of multiple crises, but to use the urgency of the situation to take action. Crises can be catalysts for change and call for a reassessment of previous cooperation. Geopolitical shifts direct attention towards Africa as a strategic partner and demand the courage to take risks, to innovate, and to invest. Guests agreed that getting into action is crucial, especially now, as the G7 summit is taking place in Germany.To address various economic, financial and health challenges in a sustainable and collaborative manner, the the G7 and Africa must work even more closely together. To assure Africa’s voice to be heard reforms of multilateral organizations are crucial as well as a possible seat for the African Union within the G20, like the one held by the European Union. With Dr Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, who was a key speaker at the The Africa Roundtable, our Co-Host Christine Mhundwa will discuss recommendations for actions: fostering economic recovery, strengthening financial inclusion and securing food basis, enabling African representation while protecting the environment and ensuring health and preparedness.