South African President Ramaphosa on Friday said the COVID-19 pandemic “must be a clarion call for African nations to invest in what is already a vibrant Pan-African science and innovation ecosystem.”The president said this during a virtual National Coronavirus Conference which brought together scientists, governments, business and civil society from all over the world.
The forum provided a platform for open discussions, and contributed to a greater understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on African societies and the economies, according to the president.
In addition, the conference also tackled the need for health innovations and technologies, and social and economic sustainability during and after the pandemic in the continent.
According to the president, investing in research and innovation had enabled South Africa to respond effectively to the pandemic in spite of its rising infections.
“We have been able to support the national COVID-19 response in critical areas, including the development and provision of diagnostic tools, ventilators and personal protective equipment, and in epidemiological modelling and data analytics,” he said.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, South Africa has been able to harness innovations like telemedicine to protect patients and healthcare workers from exposure to the virus, the president said.