The global public health [Coronavirus] crisis has compelled the Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) to cancel the anticipated July 29th – 31st conference, to have been hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The pre-conference Ph.D. Workshop will still be held virtually on the 30th of July. Further details on this and any other virtual convenings will be shared on this website (www.arocsa.org).
The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that spreads upon contact with infected persons. Africa recorded its first case in Egypt in February 2020, and the disease has since made its way to most of the continent, with many countries taking various measures to limit or ban social gatherings in order to control the spread of the disease.
With fragile and largely understaffed health facilities in many African countries, it is imperative that we contain the spread of the disease with urgency in order to prevent a system-wide collapse and catastrophic consequences on lives and livelihoods.
Although the conference has been cancelled for this year, AROCSA is committed to keeping stakeholders engaged virtually, because beyond this pandemic, African civil society remains in need of fresh ideas and opportunities to proactively influence the continent’s future.
Ironically, while the pandemic limits our in-person social interaction, it creates a major opportunity to leverage technology, and challenges our community to innovate and review its scholarship, advocacy, service delivery and policymaking. The onus rests upon us all to identify and implement new ways of carrying out our work and using this unfortunate crisis as a launchpad for innovation.
AROCSA is committed to limiting the spread of the disease, and encourages all its stakeholders to value and practice social distancing – deliberating increasing physical space with others (at least six feet away) and eliminating all non-essential social interactions. If each person actively follows the protocol of frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, not touching the face, eating and resting well and staying hydrated to boost immunity and ultimately social distancing, we can contribute to slowing the spread and helping the world to return to normalcy.
For reliable information on the Coronavirus Pandemic, you may visit the following websites:
Dr. Pinkie Mekgwe is International IDEA’s Senior Regional Adviser for Africa and West Asia and her work focuses on strengthening programmatic and administrative coherence and performance. Before joining International IDEA in 2018, she was Executive Director of Internationalism at the University of Johannesburg for the past six years. She also previously served as Deputy Director at the Office of International Education and Partnerships of the University of Botswana and as Programme Officer for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). Previously she was a lecturer at the University of Botswana, visiting researcher at the Witwatersrand Institute of Social and Economic Research, and a visiting lecturer at Malmö University in Sweden.
Ms. Kareman Shoair has a Masters degree (MA) in Economics from the American University of Cairo in Egypt. She is an Adjunct Faculty in the American University of Cairo’s Economics Department and a Research Manager at the John D. Gerhart Centre for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement. She is also a board member for the Arab Foundations Forum (AFF).
Dr. Esi Ansah is a founding partner and the current CEO of Axis Human Capital Ltd. She is an Assistant Professor at Ashesi University College. Esi is active in her community and currently serves as the Executive Director of two non-profit organizations – the Paul A. V. Ansah (PAVA) Memorial Foundation and the Association of Ghana’s Elders (AGE), which she co-founded. She is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Africa Leadership Initiative – West Africa (ALIWA) and was in July 2015 appointed as a member of the West Africa Board. She was honoured by the New York-based The Network Journal (TNJ) as one of the journal’s “Forty under Forty” African Achievers in 2010.
David Kode is the Advocacy and Campaigns Lead for CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. In the past, he has worked with the organisation as a Policy and Research Officer. He has worked with UNICEF South Africa in the Office of the Deputy Representative. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of Buea, Cameroon and a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Dr. Godwin Murunga is a historian and political analyst of Kenyan origin. He is the Executive Secretary of CODESRIA. He has lectured at the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Nairobi. He was the director of the Africa Leadership Centre in Nairobi. He was a member of the Executive Committee of CODESRIA for two consecutive terms (2005-2011). Dr. Murunga has many years of robust scholarship under his belt, evidenced by the incisive analysis that characterized his numerous scholarly publications. He also has valuable teaching and management experience and a deep knowledge of the higher education landscape in Africa.
Dr. Ijeoma Nwagwu earned her doctorate in Law (S.J.D) and Masters in Law (L.L.M) degrees from Harvard Law School and was awarded the Landon H. Gammon prize for academic excellence. After attending the Nigerian Law School, Ijeoma worked as legal counsel for the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), where she also produced documentaries on law, human rights, and development themes with Channels Television, Lagos and the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA). Ijeoma taught International Trade Law and Human Rights at St. Mary’s University College, London and was on the research team for the World Bank Assisted Science and Technology Education Post-Basic (STEP-B) project in Nigeria. She has also conducted research training for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Senegal. Ijeoma is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Dr. Bhekinkosi Moyo is a writer, author, researcher, and thought leader with keen interest in questions of African resources, democracy, and governance. He has championed the African discourse on philanthropy, contributed to the growth of many African civil society formations and has taken part in most of the continental processes of development and governance. He has written extensively on African philanthropy, civil society, and governance. Equally, he has gained considerable experience in management, leadership, and strategic roles over a significant period.
Shani began his development sector career in 2011 leading rotating multicultural teams on face to face fundraising campaigns across the entire NorthEast of Scotland on behalf charities such as Oxfam, Marie Curie Cancer Care, and the Anthony Nolan Trust. Prior to that, he successfully managed the delivery of high-end residential and hospitality development projects valued at over $50M along the Lekki corridor.
He joined ActionAid in 2013 where he drew on fundraising experiences acquired in the UK to drive the launch and implementation of ActionAid’s structured individual regular giving fundraising program; a ‘first-of-its-kind’ by an international charity in Nigeria which sought to raise unrestricted funds locally. This in addition
In 2016, he joined the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Nigeria’s leading member based business policy advocacy organization as Donor Relations & Fundraising Manager where he initiated the development of the organizational strategy for 2016-2018, in addition to supporting the hosting of several events including its flagship annual Nigerian Economic Summit, and driving fundraising across its 9 active policy commissions covering economic sectors ranging from Agriculture and Food Security, to Science and Technology.
He has also provided fundraising consultancy services to indigenous NGO’s including recently working with an agricultural technology start up funded by Propcom Maikarfi to define its business and revenue models.
He holds an MSc in Corporate Communications & Public Affairs from the Aberdeen Business School in Scotland, and a BSc in Estate Management from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-ife, Nigeria. He also holds a PRINCE2 Foundation certificate in Project Management and has benefitted from several in-house trainings in Rigorous Programme Management delivered by the Boston Consulting Group in Lagos, as well as several fundraising trainings covering individuals, corporates’ and institutions in Aberdeen, Bangkok and Johannesburg.
He is passionate about protecting people and the environment, and enjoys reading, listening to world music, playing chess, pool, and travelling.
Amina T. Banu is a media producer. She has worked across the media industry for almost a decade in the UAE and Nigeria in writing, editing, public relations, online content creation, and filmmaking. She began her professional life in the Marketing and Public Relations industry in 2013 in Dubai, UAE. Most notably, she worked for a boutique public relations firm – The PR Professionals – where she was tasked with communications, client relations, and talent and event management. Since then she has honed her skills in communication, media production, and event management across industries from fashion to IT.
She has also had experiences in the civil society sector in Nigeria. In 2015 in Abuja, Nigeria, Amina headed a social media team with the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) during Nigeria’s presidential and gubernatorial elections. In the run up to the election she worked as YIAGA’s online content creator and co-hosted voter education radio programs.
She has a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Communications Studies and an MA in Media Production.