FP Virtual Dialogue: Profiles of Resilience
How African Enterprises are Innovating in the Face of COVID-19
COVID has changed the way we interact; COVID has changed the way we do things; COVID has changed our intervention model as an organization. We are constantly reimagining and constantly reworking how we work in this space that is physically fully contact-free.”
— Adepeju Jaiyeoba, 2014 Fellowship Alumna and Founder, Brown Button Foundation and Mother’s Delivery Kit
Around the world, the coronavirus has had an outsized impact on vulnerable populations in fragile countries, overtaxing healthcare infrastructure and government response systems while exacerbating external stressors on developing economies. At the same time, the pandemic has brought to the forefront the vital role local communities can play in responding to global shocks. As such, COVID-19 provides an opportunity to examine the effectiveness of capacity-building efforts at the grassroots level and identify what types of investments work best to promote long-term resilience, from the ground up.
As part of an upcoming research project exploring this topic, Foreign Policy and the U.S. African Development Foundation hosted a Virtual Dialogue focused on grassroots investment and sustainable growth in Africa and its effect in supporting COVID-19 recovery. Spotlighting pioneers in agriculture, off-grid energy and entrepreneurship, including Fellowship Alumni Adepeju Jaiyeoba (2014 Alumna, Nigeria, and 2019 Leadership Impact Award Winner) and Steve Zita (2015 Alumnus, Democratic Republic of the Congo), the discussion showcased innovative projects that foster socio-economic resilience among vulnerable communities and ways in which targeted private sector investment has strengthened local capacity across the continent to weather this shock. Watch the video of the dialogue on Foreign Policy’s website.