The world is faced with unprecedented challenges and these have been made worse with the outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease in 2019 (COVID-19). This viral pandemic has shaken the entire globe and as of Tuesday, May 26, 2020, (05:44 hrs. EAT) there were 5,588,356 confirmed cases, with 347,873 reported deaths across the world (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus).
Most governments around the world temporarily locked down and the effects were felt globally. The world economy is crippled, tourism and other businesses have crumpled with the fall in demand, and educational institutions are not any different as they struggle to react to the sudden closure of schools due to this pandemic (see https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse). The level of vulnerability is increasing day by day and in the face of these challenges, academic Networks like EASRN and their Think tanks have a role to play by participating in finding a solution to the current challenges through discussion of responses and impact of such a global pandemic.
The main aim of the MRU-EASRN COVID-19 episodes is to create a platform for academicians and policy analysts to contribute to the current discourse on the effects of COVID-19 and the future prospects in view of various topics. The COVID-19 episodes will cover nine topics in nine weeks as indicated below:
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all facets of human life and has caused an unprecedented lockdown of travel, public gatherings and stifled economic growth for all developed and less developed economies. The existing lack of a cure or vaccine for the pandemic is responsible for uncertainty that several analysts are pondering over. Governments, independent organizations and families are responding to the crisis caused by the pandemic. It is therefore relevant for academicians and policy analysts to enter into discourse on the social, political and economic topics that define people’s lives and will redefine the future of several generations post-COVID-19. In response to the current need for guidance, nine MRU-EASRN THINK-TANK EPISODES are scheduled to take place over the period of June-July 2020.
The Muteesa I Royal University is a skills training, academic and research-centred institution of higher learning. In its Strategic Plan 2019/2023, the University envisions to be a ‘leading University responding to contemporary challenges through teaching and learning, research and technical guidance’. MRU currently holds the Secretariat of the East African Scientific Research Network (EASRN). The East African Scientific Research Network (EASRN) was established in 2019. Its core goal is to build a critical mass of individuals and institutions interested in solving Africa’s most pressing problems through: innovative research, rigorous research capacity and technical skills; high quality data and support infrastructure, established research sharing mechanisms, and shared values on Open Science and FAIR Data. At this moment, the EASRN has 14 member institutions from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The Gesis Institute of Social Sciences (a Data Infrastructure and Research Institute in Germany) is one of MRU’s core overseas partners.
Members of the EASRN include universities and research organisations that were present or represented during the April 2019 inception meeting/birth of the network idea, together with those that joined afterward. These universities and organisations include the following:
This episode will address issues that include, but not limited to:
Others issues to ponder on will include: