100 days since the first COVID-19 case was reported have marked a significant transformation that the world has experienced. Unplanned and still unpredictable change touched every single aspect of global economic, political and social reality. During a week-long International Digital Summit (June 15-19) experts in business, education, health and international relations representing 20 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America were discussing the lessons learned during these 100 days of pandemic and providing recommendations to shape the new norm.
The summit virtually brought together experts including Dr. Sergey Brilev, the President of the Global Energy Association, who gave a speech on the future of sustainable development given the emerging trends of the energy sector. Issues that were brought to the light during the pandemic in Africa were discussed by Ivorian politician Nathalie Yamb, Gabonese educator and politician Laurence Ndong and Professor of the University of Mozambique and AFRIC think tank President Jose Matemulane, who spoke about natural economy as the way out to sovereignty in the Post-Covid future.
The speakers agreed, that despite the huge potential Africa has in terms of creativity, resources, technology, tourism and agricultural potential, it can hardly benefit from it as at the moment the pressure and dependency of its elites from France and other ex-colonial powers is still strong. Reform of the CFA franc existing in 13 countries of West and Central Africa has to be implemented in a way in which it would imply financial and political sovereignty, Nathalie Yamp underlined, adding that “African countries should be able to choose partners for trade and cooperation freely, based on their rational reasoning,”. Laurence Ndong, also mentioned that coronavirus lockdowns exposed to the public the systematic problems of governance in many African states and there is no other way but resolving those issues.
Accentuating on BRICS countries and multilateral cooperation, which according to him looks like the optimal scenario for regional and global cooperation: Michael Schumann, the President of the German Foreign Trade Association (BWA) stated that aside for China and African countries that Chancellor Merkel mentioned as the ones Germany should “turn to”, it should also take a closer look at India and re-establish relations with Russia, as sanctions and other restrictive policies do not benefit anyone neither in short term, nor in the long run, reiterating that Germany needs to develop its own independent security architecture stepping away from USA military “protectorate”.
Vaiva Adomaityte (UK), Global change expert, specialising in Government reforms and transformation programmes reflected on business and Governments ability to adapt and respond to change as big as COVID-19. Discussing in more details how all aspects of societal levels are interconnected and depend on each other. Vaiva also highlighted the significant gap in the government’s ability to make prompt decisions in an agile and changing environment.
At the concluding phase, Purnima Anand, an international socio economic analyst and president of the BRICS international forum, who authored the idea of hosting the summit, underlined that constructive cooperation is the best way out of the crisis. Purnima said; “Pandemic has brought up the best and the worst of the humanity: fortitude and fear, solidarity and suspicion, rapport and determination. This pandemic has exposed all the contradictions of our modern world”.
Thus, cooperation is the best way forward that would help the world achieve balance within communities, in international relations amongst others. Covid-19: Global Impact Digital Summit Organizing committee is an international team representing BRICS International Forum (India), ADMIS Consultancy (UK), BWA (Germany), Association for Free Research and international Cooperation (Mozambique), Center for Social and Cultural Initiatives (Russia), International Business Acceleration Centre (Russia), Center for Geopolitical Studies (Serbia).
More information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/ADMIS.consultancy/
Speech videos available at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW8Vf96OGutcDH9d1Pxqbmw