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CIC National Capital (Ottawa): The Challenges of COVID and post-COVID in South Africa and West Africa (Online event)

November 25, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am EST


Join the CIC National Capital Branch’s Africa Study Group at its next online event.

The global awareness of the impact of COVID on Sub-Saharan Africa has focused on the lack of availability of current vaccines.  The continent, which has a population of more than one billion, has had about 1.5 million cases, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University. The negative impact of the virus is generally agreed to be more than the statistics present.  The weakness of the health systems in many African countries has augmented the costs and further revealed social inequalities. At the same time, attention has been drawn to the apparent low levels of fatalities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Much of the discussion about COVID in Africa has targeted specific countries.

This Webinar has a dual focus:  one presenter will look at the situation of cities in South Africa (in particular Pietermaritzburg) while the other presenter will cast his analysis on a regional scale (West Africa).  In addition to social and health issues, COVID-governance issues will be addressed as well as the recent Oxfam report called “The Inequality Virus”.


Marc Epprecht is an associate professor in the Department of Global Development Studies, cross-listed with History and Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Canada.  He received his PhD in history from Dalhousie University.  Prior to teaching at Queen’s University, he taught at the University of Zimbabwe.  He is the 2006 winner of the Canadian Association of African Studies Joel Gregory Prize for his book Hungochani:  The History of Dissident Sexuality in Southern Africa.  In 2009 he was awarded the Desmond Tutu Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Study of Sexuality in Africa.  Marc Epprecht served on the Executive, including as President, of the Canadian Association of African Studies from 2016-2019.  He has twice organized the Association’s international conference held at Queen’s University.  He has been visiting professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Basel and the History Workshop at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Dr. Gilles Yabi is the founder and president of WATHI, a West African citizen think tank. WATHI, whose name connotes both the West African Citizen Think Tank and the time concept – “Waati” in several West African languages, is a public platform for generating and exchanging ideas, knowledge and proposals for action to achieve transformation in West African societies.  Gilles Yabi previously worked as a senior political analyst and then as director of the West Africa office of the International Crisis Group, an international non-governmental organization working to prevent and resolve armed conflict. He holds a PhD in development economics from the University of Clermont-Ferrand (France) and was a journalist for Jeune Africa in Paris before moving to Dakar (Senegal). For the past fifteen years, Gilles has been a regular contributor to various international media outlets such as TV5 and Le Monde on issues of peace, security, and political and economic governance in West Africa.

Denise Byrnes is Executive Director of Oxfam-Quebec. She joined the Oxfam-Quebec team in 2011 as Senior Director of International Programs. A seasoned manager, Ms. Byrnes has more than 25 years of experience in international development. Her various mandates have led her to manage organizations and programs both in Canada and in the field in several countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia.

Moderator: Professor Yiagadeesen (Teddy) Samy, Director at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University. His research interests intersect the broad areas of international and development economics. His current research focuses on domestic resource mobilization, fragile states, foreign aid and income inequality, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. His most recent books are Exiting the Fragility Trap: Rethinking Our Approach to the World’s Most Fragile States (Ohio University Press, 2019), co-authored with David Carment and African Economic Development (Routledge, 2018), co-authored with Arch Ritter and Steven Langdon. His research has appeared in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Third World Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Foreign Policy Analysis and Applied Economics.

Video of this event: https://youtu.be/8l9bIFIe6uE


November 25, 2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am EST
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CIC NCB Africa Study Group