The world is experiencing something that our generation has never seen before. COVID-19 has caused health systems around the world to invest additional resources to ensure they can deal with this virus adequately. As I write this post, both the United States of America and Italy has more infections than the whole of China, where the virus originated. Cases on the African continent continue to grow. The World Economic Forum recently called for a unique approach to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Africa. The reason behind this is because Africa has a large number of people who live with HIV/AIDS. Many people on our continent also don’t have the luxury of social distancing, as is the case in Europe. People living in poverty have to share essential services, and this will have an impact on the spread of COVID-19 on the continent.
As I wrote this post, COVID-19 had infected over 1000 Africans, and with a vaccine still, months away, Africans are rushing to find solutions to help combat the spread of the virus. Given the state of the health system in many African countries, experts worry that COVID-19 might completely collapse the health systems of many countries around the continent. As it stands, many African countries medical systems are already overburdened even under normal circumstances. This paints a worrying picture of what the future holds.
Innovators all over the continent are finding ways to curb the spread of COVID-19. One important sector that is working hard to develop solutions is the technology sector. This is evident when we look at the various applications that have been launched in the past two months in all parts of the continent. These projects give me hope that as a continent, we will come together and think of innovative solutions to dealing with this pandemic. Given that African countries face the same problems when dealing with COVID-19, the solutions developed by people all over the continent can be applied to other countries. Collaboration amongst developers helping curb the spread of COVID-19 has been minimal, given the lack of a platform to help them share ideas and offer assistance to each other. This can be attributed to the lack of a platform that brings all of us together as African innovators helping to curb the spread of COVID-19. It brings me great joy to be part of a project that will bring about collaboration on the continent. Here is a brief explanation of the platform:
Combat COVID-19 Africa is a collaborative platform that aims to connect African digital volunteers helping combat the spread of COVID-19. The platform offers digital volunteers’ free access to cloud computing resources to help them build and scale their solutions. By doing this, the platform hopes to enable collaborations amongst all Africans working to stop the spread of COVID-19. The platform will connect software developers, data scientists, network engineers and any other individual that wishes to develop solutions to help the continent fight the spread of COVID-19. This pan-African platform will allow digital volunteers to work together to solve the continents toughest issues when fighting coronavirus while receiving funding support in cloud resources from several donors.
The platform will be live on the 20th April but we are holding weekly calls to encourage participation and to raise awareness about the existence of the platform. I call on all of you to join our weekly calls by registering here www.combatcovid-19.africa
I am proud to be a part of this platform as a digital volunteer, and I call on my fellow Africans to join the platform too