TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN AFRICA
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|October 2020
SOME SOLUTIONS TO AVERTING FUTURE IMPACTS OF PANDEMICS
PAUL CHIUDZA BANDA*

Introduction

As has been the case elsewhere in the year 2020, Africa has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic is so-named after a coronavirus called SARS Cov-2. It originated in China at the end of 2019, and reached Africa by mid-February 2019 when the first case was diagnosed in Egypt. As of mid-October 2020, out of the continent’s 54 countries, 47 had registered cases of the pandemic. There were over 1.2 million confirmed cases leading to over 24,000 deaths continent-wide. Politicians, scientists, and medical doctors have over the past year grappled on the best ways to stop the spread of the virus and how to minimize its impacts. In the absence of a vaccine or an approved cure, some have called for the use of social distancing measures, others for the use of face masks, and yet other governments instituted lockdown measures. Some of these “solutions” have been detrimental to Africans. They have led to the closure of businesses and subsequently job losses for thousands of Africans. This article used the COVID-19 pandemic as a reference point toward our understanding of pandemics in Africa during the recent past. It also provides a brief overview of the state of technical and vocational education training (TVET) in the continent. From this, it posits that TVET can help to avert some of the challenges that the continent faces whenever a pandemic, like COVID-19, occurs.

An Overview of Pandemics in The 20th and 21st Centuries

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