Mobilising on all fronts against a common enemy

Youth: Fighting COVID-19 their way

Africa’s young people are using resourcefulness and new technologies to engage and make a difference in the battle against the virus

Ndlovu Youth Choir “America’s Got Talent” Season 14 Live Show Red Carpet at Dolby Theatre on September 17, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP

As Africa continues to battle COVID-19, the continent’s youth are not sitting idly by waiting for the worst to come. Across the continent, young people are hard at work, in partnership with governments and diverse partners, providing solutions to help reduce the spread of the virus and ways to address the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, through engagements and innovation. In Egypt, Mohamed Elkholy, 25, is using new technologies to engage young people, fight misinformation about COVID-19 and spread the right messages about the virus. Mohamed, the leader of youth network Y-Peer Egypt, has been hosting a youth-to-youth podcast programme to create awareness among young people. In a country like Egypt, where youth constitute some 60% of the population, finding effective ways to engage young people and empower them is important in the battle against the pandemic.

Gwendolyn Myers, a 29-year-old peace activist, is co-chairing the National Youth Taskforce Against COVID-19 in Liberia. The task force was set up under the auspices of Liberia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, bringing together five youth-led organisations. It was established to mobilise and build young people, empowering them to to lead campaigns against the pandemic in local communities. The task force, for example, uses young people at grassroots levels to ensure food is distributed to vulnerable sectors of the population, and to distribute essential sanitary material in high-risk virus hotspots such as slum communities and informal settlements with large populations and a limited supply of social services. In East Africa, Kibra Green is a youth organisation in Kenya’s largest slum, Kibera, in the capital Nairobi. The group is passionate about the localised implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 3 on health and wellbeing.

The group has been engaged in several initiatives to mitigate and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Alfred Otieno, a leading member of Kibra Green, believes that youth have a critical role to play in the fight against the virus. In their case, the group, in partnership with UN-Habitat and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), has set up hand-washing stations for residents, enabling them to sanitise. The group has also handed out masks, disseminated relevant information about COVID-19 and prevention, as well distributed food and other essential items to vulnerable families, including sanitary pads to needy girls. Kennedy Odede, the CEO and founder of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a grassroots organisation that offers support to several hundred thousand slum residents in Nairobi, argues that youth are in the majority on the continent and yet most of the time young people find themselves marginalised. “We can’t win this COVID-19 war if the youth are not involved,” Odede says.

Mohammed Elkholy spreads the right messages about COVID-19. Photo: Raphael Obonyo

“We have a new youth in Africa who will not follow orders. This new youth want to be listened to, not told what to do. They believe they have the solutions. Now let’s tap on them to fight COVID-19.” In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Christella Kiakuba, 26, an orphan of military parents and co-founder of community organisation Telema Mwana Ya Mapinga, is helping women and orphans protect themselves from the coronavirus. She is distributing face masks and showing people how to use them, and how to sanitise. She and her organisation deliver food and provide legal help to widows and orphans. In Cameroon, Achaleke Christian, the national coordinator of civil society organisation Local Youth Corner, launched a “One Person, One Sanitiser” campaign in April to prevent the spread of coronavirus, especially among the poor.

He and members of the youth group have produced homemade hand sanitisers using World Health Organization standards and distributed them for free, teaming up with a coalition of youth civil society organisations, medical doctors, pharmacists and a laboratory scientist in the process. In South Africa, young people have been at the forefront of government and community efforts to educate people about the basic preventive measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19. One example is 750Amped, a national campaign launched in May by South Africa’s National Department of Health and the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA). The initiative, which involved the initial training of 750 learners, was established as “a proactive intervention that leverages the power of youth to inspire changes in social behaviour through training, education, and awareness around COVID-19”, according to the 750Amped website.

Kibra Green is a youth organisation engaged in initiatives to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Kibera, Nairobi. Photo: Raphael Obonyo

Young South Africans have also used the power of music to encourage their communities to practise preventative measures against the virus. The Ndlovu Youth Choir, which was originally formed in 2008 by a Dutch doctor, working in South Africa’s largely rural Limpopo province to help orphans and the children of Aids patients, became a global phenomenon when they reached the finals of the TV show America’s Got Talent. They were forced to cancel an international tour when COVID-19 swept the world, but since then a video of a new song, in isiZulu with English subtitles, that demonstrates how to practise basic preventative measures, has gone viral. North of the border, in Zimbabwe, Bridget Mutsinze, 25, is among a group of youth volunteers working with development organisation Voluntary Service Overseas (VOS), using social media to fight coronavirus misinformation.

They have taken to Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and radio to comb through online comments, to identify and correct COVID-19 misinformation. In Côte d’Ivoire, Ibrahima Diabate and the Youth Peace and Security Network recorded a series of awareness-raising videos in different local languages to disseminate the much-needed information about coronavirus. The videos went viral on social media platforms. The use of local languages, and the cultural translation of the messages in ways that make sense to the communities they target, have enhanced their accessibility. And telling the stories of life under COVID-19, in this case among poor and marginalised communities in southern Africa, are dynamic young journalists like the team at Tazama World Media in Kenya, led by James Smart and Kizito Gamba in Kenya, who are dedicated to community-based journalism using smart phones and social media.

As South Africa’s Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said when he launched youth month 2020 on 2 June, recalling the role of young people in fighting the country’s apartheid regime: “The youth of 2020 have been called upon to fight a much more silent war, the coronavirus pandemic, and to help rebuild a society post COVID-19.” As Mthethwa correctly noted in his address, young people have a major role to play in the fight against the coronavirus – because youth are Africa’s greatest asset and the future of the continent depends on them.

C-19 in Kenya: Youth job scheme: a real deal or an empty promise?

Kenya launched an ambitious plan dubbed Kazi Mtaani in early June that sought to shield thousands of jobless young people from the biting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Department of Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said the Sh10 billion ($100 million) programme targeted 270,000 Kenyans, in a country with about 14 million unemployed youths, according to the 2019 census data. Each beneficiary of the project would earn a daily wage of Sh455 ($4.55) and would be engaged in community and infrastructure development projects.

Each beneficiary of the project would earn a daily wage of Sh455 ($4.55) and would be engaged in community and infrastructure development projects.

In the early stages of the pandemic, on 25 March, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he “recognise[d] the anxiety that th[e] pandemic ha[d] caused millions of Kenyan families … with the possibility of job losses and loss of income weighing heavily on their minds”. He announced a reduction of Value Added Tax to 14% from 16% and corporation tax from 30% to 25% and also declared 100% tax relief for individuals with a monthly income of less than Sh24,000 ($240).

Michael Okoth, 33, from Dandora slums in Nairobi, told Africa in Fact that he lost his job as a school bus driver when coronavirus struck, and the Sh2,275 ($22.75) payment from a Kazi Mtaani job, which he receives through his mobile phone weekly, had helped him to cover his family’s daily expenses. “Between April and June, my family and I really struggled to survive and we even [went] without food for a day or two,” says Okoth. Now, the father of two says, he can afford to pay rent, buy food for his family and cater for other basic needs.

But as the pandemic has raged across the globe, many other Kenyans who have endured months under various forms of social restriction have not benefited from the scheme. On 5 August, hundreds of youths from Uasin Gishu in Rift Valley demonstrated, claiming that money meant for their wages was being diverted to other activities by unnamed senior government officials.

The Sh2,275 ($22.75) payment from a Kazi Mtaani job, which he receives through his mobile phone weekly, had helped him to cover his family’s daily expenses.

Joyce Kipchirchir, 27, from Nyathiru on the outskirts of the town of Eldoret in the Rift Valley, who got a job under the Kazi Mtaani scheme, told Africa In Fact in a phone interview that she had been paid  Sh1,365 for 11 days worked, rather than the Sh5,005 that she should have been paid. “We suspect someone is taking advantage of our misfortune,” she said.

On 23 July, youths employed under the Kazi Mtaani programme in Kikuyu, Kiambu County, protested over delayed and low payments. The region’s assistant county commissioner. Rosemary Mwangi, said the issue had been escalated to the relevant county administrators for action. A week later, on 30 July, another protest was held in Nyeri County over the same issue.

Responding to the queries on 5 August, Hinga said that all Kazi Mtaani employees were being paid a standard amount of Sh455 per day, and those who had received Sh1,365 ($13.65) and Sh910 ($9.10) had been paid for two or three days worked. The balance of what they were owed would be paid on the following day (6 August).

“We suspect someone is taking advantage of our misfortune,” she said.

The Kazi Mtaani programme has been charged with favouritism (in the recruitment of candidates). County commissioners, county secretaries and county directors of housing in charge of implementing the programme in their areas of authority have been accused of demanding bribes from those who want to be considered.

“I was not considered for the job because I could not afford to buy chai,” said Okore, 22, a disabled and jobless University of Nairobi graduate who lives in the Mathare slums in the capital (The phrase, “buy chai” is a common euphemism for bribing officials in Kenya). Okore, who said he was from a poor background and an orphan with no direct family to care for him, told Africa in Fact that friends of his had “bought chai” and were now Kazi Mtaani employees.

Given that government programmes may be failing to reach all of their intended beneficiaries, development partners and not-for-profit organisations have stepped in to augment the government’s efforts. On 2 July, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) launched cash transfers and nutrition support for more than 250,000 people in informal settlements in Nairobi. The body’s country director and representative in Kenya, Annalisa Conte, said the cash distributions were aimed at supplementing the Kenyan government’s social protection programmes.

“I was not considered for the job because I could not afford to buy chai,” said Okore, 22, a disabled and jobless University of Nairobi graduate who lives in the Mathare slums in the capital.

Poor urban families usually lived hand-to-mouth, relied on informal day-to-day employment and had no food reserves after months of containment measures, including lockdowns in some areas. “They need all our help now,” she observed.

Meanwhile, Shikilia, a Kenya-based coalition of the private sector and NGOs, entrepreneurs, operators, designers and researchers is working with GiveDirectly, a US-based not-for profit, to help low-income Kenyans living in extreme poverty by making unconditional cash transfers to them via mobile phone. Some 100,000 potential recipients have been identified, according to Shikilia’s website, though it is unclear how many of them have received payments. Each recipient has received at least $30 a month for three months.

While these efforts appear to be having a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable Kenyans, critics say the coronavirus outbreak has brought with it a need to reflect deeply on sustainable, long-lasting plans to deal with other large-scale threats to life and welfare that might arise in the globalised world. “The coronavirus crisis has reminded us that we need to focus seriously on how we address the challenges facing the vulnerable in our society in terms of social protection,” Technical University of Kenya communications lecturer Julius Bosire told Africa in Fact.

The coronavirus outbreak has brought with it a need to reflect deeply on sustainable, long-lasting plans to deal with other large-scale threats to life and welfare that might arise in the globalised world.

The Kenyan government needed to support productive sectors of the economy, to create the conditions necessary to generate employment opportunities for the thousands of jobless youths, said Bosire. Among the measures he proposed for achieving this were extending tax holidays to businesses, reducing the cost of doing business by cutting energy costs, and incentivising multinational firms to set up operations in Kenya.

“Technically, an economically empowered person can be assumed to be socially protected,” he said. But in recent decades, Kenya has seen hundreds of thousands of young people, high school and college graduates, failing to find work. Other demographics have increasingly fallen by the wayside in terms of government support. “Hence, our focus should not just be on the youth – it should be wider and broader to cover even the ageing population,” Bosire said.

Deputy President William Ruto, in a tweet on 24 July, challenged youths not to depend on formal employment, but to come up with innovative ways to create employment for themselves during the coronavirus crisis. The government intended to “nurture, encourage and protect” micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses, he said, because they had the power to “boost the livelihoods of the vulnerable and provide an environment for the youths to unlock their potential”.

Deputy President William Ruto, in a tweet on 24 July, challenged youths not to depend on formal employment, but to come up with innovative ways to create employment for themselves during the coronavirus crisis.

But critics say the Kazi Mtaani programme was hurriedly conceived, to give the appearance of doing something for vulnerable youths, and without a clear roadmap. Under the plan, university graduates were being offered bush-clearing jobs that paid a small amount per day, when they might have been engaged in activities that made use of their skills, Dr Michael Okello, an economist and independent media commentator based in Nairobi, told Africa in Fact. “Were there ever any clear plans for this initiative?”

The government had mobilised, both internally and externally, “massive funds” to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, but the country’s medical care and support had not improved, Okello said. Moreover, in previous years, important sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing, construction, among others, had not received support, which would have helped to generate jobs for young people, and these sectors were still receiving no support.

“These failures are all due to greed and corruption,” said Okello. “The government has a solid track record in corruption, rather than in serving the people. Where are the jobs that were promised in 2017, when about 40% of our youth are unemployed?”

“The government has a solid track record in corruption, rather than in serving the people.” – Dr Michael Okello.

Indeed, there have been persistent allegations of misuse and theft of Covid-19-related funds. On 29 July, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said “billions of shillings” had been allocated to addressing Covid-19, but Kenyans who had tested positive for the virus “still lacked access to proper medical care”.

On 26 June 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta, launching his campaign for a second term, pledged to create at least 1.3 million jobs a year. Youth employment was “at the heart of his administration,” he said. Yet according to 2019 census data published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, some 38.9% of young Kenyans were still jobless two years later.

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge faulted the structure of Kenya’s economy for delivering economic growth without jobs. He said the country was focusing on huge infrastructural spending, which did not spread wealth among many Kenyans. Those without jobs, Njoroge argued, remained unemployed and those at work did not see hikes in their wages. These sorts of expenditures boost GDP numbers, he said, “but you cannot eat GDP”. What was needed was specific income. That was what people wanted: jobs and income.

These sorts of expenditures boost GDP numbers, he said, “but you cannot eat GDP”. What was needed was specific income.

President Kenyatta announced a post-election pact with opposition leaders on 9 March this year, widely publicised with a photograph of himself shaking hands with the leader of the main opposition, Raila Odinga. But with the opposition virtually non-existent, Kenyans have been left with no one to put pressure on the government to fulfil its pre-election promises, including youth job creation.

“One handshake killed the opposition,” says Wilson Rono, a human rights activist in the coastal city of Mombasa. “The media are policed by government, while civil society actors are routinely intimidated and arrested. There is no one to hold those in power accountable.”

 

We’d love to hear from you! Join The Wicked Conversation by leaving your comments below, or send your letter to the editor to richard@gga.org.

 

Mark Kapchanga is a senior economics writer for the Standard newspaper in Kenya and a columnist for the Global Times, an English-language newspaper in China. He is pursuing a PhD in investigative business journalism at the University of Nairobi.

C-19: Work and Jobs in Kenya

In 2019, no less than 38.57% of young Kenyans (or 5,341,182 of 13,777,600) were out of work, according to census data. Article 260 of Kenya’s Constitution defines a youth as a person aged between 18 and 34. Even those with jobs were struggling to make ends meet because most jobs were lowly paid. As the government saw it, the annual number of formal employment opportunities available could not match the rate of population growth.

In the first quarter of this year, some 735,711 youths were laid off, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics’ Quarterly Labour Force for the period. But aside from encouraging jobless young Kenyans to engage in self-employment, the government did little to inspire people to create their own jobs.

In the first quarter of this year, some 735,711 youths were laid off.

All this was before the first case of coronavirus was reported in Kenya. The gloomy picture was darkened by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s warning in early May that more than half a million jobs might be lost in six months should the rate of coronavirus infections go up. As at 28 June, Kenya had recorded 6,070 cases of the deadly disease, with 1,971 and 143 recoveries and deaths, respectively. This represents a steep growth of 313% over the past month when the country had 1,471 cases.

However, the reliability of the figures have been put to the test, with the police making arrests over ‘fake’ coronavirus testing kits. While the government had said at least 35,000 samples would be worked on in 24 hours following a new innovation at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in April, the average testing capacity in the country still stands at 5,000 a day, according to the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, Dr Rashid Aman.

The gloomy picture was darkened by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s warning in early May that more than half a million jobs might be lost in six months should the rate of coronavirus infections go up.

The government is struggling to stabilise the country’s wobbling economy as it is. In September 2019, the World Bank forecast a GDP growth rise of 5.9% in 2020, underpinned by private consumption, but revised it downwards to 1.5% in its Kenya Economic Update report in April, pegging the review on uncertainty and decreased economic activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. Evaluating the likely impact of the novel coronavirus on Kenya, the Bretton Woods Institution said in the report that GDP might “contract to 1% in the worst-case scenario”. The virus pandemic has already hit tourism, agricultural exports and remittances.

In March, President Kenyatta announced a raft of interventions aimed at easing the financial burden on businesses and entrepreneurs in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. To protect jobs and provide certainty to employers, the government would offer 100% tax relief for people earning a gross monthly income of up to Ksh24,000 and a reduction of income tax paid by those in higher tax brackets from a maximum of 30% down to 25%.

Further, turnover tax rates for micro, small and medium enterprises were reduced from 3% to 1%, and the listing of individuals and micro-, small- or medium-sized entities by the Credit Reference Bureau was temporarily suspended with effect from 1 April, 2020. Moreover, Value Added Tax (VAT) was reduced from 16% to 14%, also effective from 1 April, and the Kenya Revenue Authority expedited the payment of verified VAT refund claims amounting to Ksh10 billion “within three weeks” to improve cash flows for businesses.

However, these ambitious measures have hardly had any impact on jobs protection and creation. As at 30 May, according to the Ministry of Health, at least 300,000 people had lost their jobs since 13 March, when Kenya reported its first COVID-19 case. It is unclear how many businesses have closed shop so far as a result of the coronavirus. However, it is clear that businesses have drastically scaled down their operations as employees get axed, while others have been asked to review their contracts from fixed terms to a pay-as-you-work model.

As at 30 May, according to the Ministry of Health, at least 300,000 people had lost their jobs since 13 March, when Kenya reported its first COVID-19 case.

Solomon Karanja, a long-distance bus driver operating between Nairobi and Bungoma in western Kenya, says he has been forced to engage in selling roasted and boiled maize at his home in the Mathare slums after the government imposed a ban on travel in and out of Nairobi in April. The father of four says it has been “hell for my family as we cope with one-meal-a day” due to reduced income.

The situation has not been any better for Rashid Omar, a dealer in mobile phones, who says the crisis has forced him to shut down his shop, rendering six of his employees jobless. “I now run the business on my own online to manage the overhead costs in the age of diminished returns,” he said.

The father of four says it has been “hell for my family as we cope with one-meal-a day” due to reduced income.

The biting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have not spared the media. Journalists are being laid off and others forced to take pay cuts of between 25% and 50%. So harsh has been the situation that on 28 June, the Kenya Editors Guild said some media companies were exploiting the pandemic to enforce layoffs and salary cuts. The editors claimed that at least 300 journalists had lost their jobs in the past nine months, and the pandemic was “likely to exacerbate an already dire situation”.

On 29 June, Charles Kanyi, the member of parliament for Starehe constituency in Nairobi, claimed the police had supervised the overnight demolition of hundreds of kiosks in Gikomba, a downtown second-hand clothes market, arguably the largest in East Africa, that employs thousands of people, according to the Nairobi Governor, Mike Mbuvi. Kanyi argued that ongoing fires at the open-air market were a scheme to displace the original stall owners. At the very least, the move contradicted the government’s claimed commitment to shield small- and medium-sized businesses from the impact of the pandemic. On June 29, the legislator was arrested over claims of “incitement”.

The move contradicted the government’s claimed commitment to shield small- and medium-sized businesses from the impact of the pandemic.

The situation has not been made any better by delayed payments, and in some cases non-payment, for services and goods supplied to county and national governments. The officials of many of these institutions are in any case notorious for demanding kickbacks to honour their work obligations. According to the National Treasury, the government had uncleared debt to local businesses of Ksh368.9 billion (about $3.46 billion) as at 31 March this year.

With the President Kenyatta’s lifting of the lockdown on 6 July, commentators say the country’s leadership seems to have resigned itself to being torn between continued containment with little positive impact and the reopening of the country to stir economic activities. Blogger Robert Alai claimed the lifting of the lockdown would pave the way for a rise in infections, while veteran journalist David Makali, in a tweet, termed the president’s pronouncement as a signal to the “age of personal responsibility”.

Blogger Robert Alai claimed the lifting of the lockdown would pave the way for a rise in infections.

There have been widespread claims that the government was doing nothing material enough to contain the virus. Some politicians have called on Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to scale down his daily media briefings, which focus on numbers that add little value to the battle in containing the pandemic.

Instead, argues Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, the cabinet secretary should work towards the mass testing of people for fast identification of cases, swift treatment for those people who test positive, and immediate isolation to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But the government seems to be struggling to do this.

As things stand, Kenya appears to be on a me-too path, adopting measures that other countries, particularly the UK, have adopted, in order to seem to be confronting the outbreak. “There is no serious undertaking in battling coronavirus,” says Michael Simiyu, a public policy analyst based in Kisumu. “What have we achieved since the lockdown, apart from rising cases of the disease?”

 

We’d love to hear from you! Join The Wicked Conversation by leaving your comments below, or send your letter to the editor to richard@gga.org.

 

Mark Kapchanga is a senior economics writer for the Standard newspaper in Kenya and a columnist for the Global Times, an English-language newspaper in China. He is pursuing a PhD in investigative business journalism at the University of Nairobi.

COVID-19

A GGA RESPONSE

MAY 2020

CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND YOUTH FORMATION

Recommendations on child and youth advocacy, ECD centres and the implementation of the proposed Department of Basic Education Response Document

On 19 March, 2020 classrooms and learning environments across South Africa closed their doors in an attempt to keep the Coronavirus disease at bay. At midnight of 26 March, the entire country was placed under lockdown in an effort to flatten the curve of infections. Initially, it was planned that schools would resume on 18 April, which would have resulted in an extended holiday and two weeks to catch up – but the virus has proved more taxing than initially thought. The lockdown has been extended and now in mid-May, a month later, there is still uncertainty. The pandemic is challenging the education sector with a simple, yet pressing question: “what now?”

At the outset, the pandemic has revealed just how far-off many countries in the region are from realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations to address global challenges. The pandemic has had both a direct and indirect impact on child and youth access to quality education, and it serves to challenge their health, current development efforts to address high youth unemployment rates, and their social protection (UN Sustainable Goals/2030). The following serves as a tool for policy development to assist in a response. The South African Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, and Blade Nzimande, the Minister of Higher Education, have been grappling with how to phase back learner attendance and “save the academic year”.

It is clear that doing nothing about this pandemic is not an option for government and the private sector alike. To quote Hubert Mweli, Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, during a briefing on the way forward for schools on 29 April, 2020, “We die from the virus or we die from poverty and hunger.” Mweli’s statement clearly indicates that South Africa and the wellbeing of its citizens is not being taken lightly. International experience has taught us a great deal. South Africa is in the more fortunate position of being able to learn from other countries, yet the national context is not that simple; South Africa – with nine provinces, 11 official languages, 12,408,755 learners with a wide variety of backgrounds and learning abilities, 24, 998 schools (excluding informal ECD centres and private home-schooling clusters) and 407,000 educators spread across rural, peri-urban and urban areas, and the biggest wealth gap globally between rich and poor – faces its challenges. Every country is unique and needs a contextually relevant and flexible strategy for a COVID-19 response in our schools (National Development Plan 2030).

A phased approach to learners returning to schools seems like the most viable option. This document explains the points the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has addressed in their COVID-19 development plan draft, released on 29 April, 2020, with added input and suggestions from GGA to consider for education development and youth formation. Read more here: Department of Basic Education Response Document

Press Release

Good Governance Africa (GGA) takes great pleasure in announcing that natural resource economist and policy analyst Dr Ross Harvey will be joining the organisation from 1 May, 2020.

GGA is a research and advocacy non-profit organisation dedicated to improving governance across Africa with a focus on several core areas: natural resources, peace and security, democratic governance and political processes, improving the economic environment, and youth and marginalised/vulnerable groups.

With offices across Africa, GGA’s work is based on exploring and advancing the key governance principles of democracy, accountability and transparency, and combining these with upholding the rule of law and respecting human, civil and property rights.

Ross’s task at GGA is to establish a non-renewable natural resources project (extractive industries) to ensure that the industry becomes genuinely sustainable and contributes to Africa achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mindful that the priority for most Africans is to find meaningful and sustainable employment, his key objective will be to concentrate on development-orientated governance improvements that connect the extractive industries to green industrialisation, land tenure, clean water, and renewable energy and transport systems.

Ross has been dealing with governance issues in various forms across this sector since 2007. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Cape Town, and his thesis research focused on the political economy of oil and institutional development in Angola and Nigeria.

While completing his PhD, Ross worked as a senior researcher on extractive industries and wildlife governance at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), and in May 2019 became an independent conservation consultant.

GGA looks forward to working with Ross and believes he represents a valuable addition to our team.

For more information and interviews, please contact Chris Maroleng on chrism@gga.org

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