SERIES 4: Governance and Human Rights in the Era of COVID-19 – August 14.

A moderated discussion with a focus on attention to human rights such as non-discrimination and human rights principles such as transparency, right to information, privacy, and respect for human dignity amidst the turmoil and disruption of COVID-19.

  1. Creation of new policies that are overbroad in reaction to the COVID-19 Pandemic that might harm the pledge to respect human rights
  2. Ensuring the continued Equal treatment and non-discrimination, Right to health.
  3. Promoting the Right to information
  4. Enhancing the Protection of privacy in the age of use of contact tracing tools using AI, ML among other tools.
  5. Gender considerations, especially how Women and Girls bear the biggest weight in managing the pandemic.
  6. Way forward, practical measures and using COVID-19 as an accelerant to positive change.


Host/Chair - Sophia Bekele Eshete: Founder & Founder & CEO, DCA Group/ Chair of WebForum - USA/Africa Ms. Bekele stated that "Governance and Human Rights affects us all. Africa on the other hand is a resilient continent we have gone through much worse things before so we will keep faith alive and work hard towards our sustainable goals that's all we can do."

Moderator - Dr. Chaloka Beyani, Professor of International Law, London School of Economics / Former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons/ Member of the SG's Expert Group of Experts to the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement - London/Zambia Dr. Chaloka said, "The fault lines lay in the choice of the system of government, Parliamentary or Presidential at national Level, or a Federal system in terms of devolution, choices which have been exposed during this COVID crisis."

Panelist: Evans Monari, Partner and the head of the Dispute Resolution Practice at Bowman’s Law-Kenya/ advocate of the High Court of Kenya / Chair of public listed companies as well as local and international charities. He also handles high profile criminal briefs - Kenya Mr. Monari commented that “We must ensure that Africa’s next normal is characterized by inclusive development effecting delivery of services, and innovative approaches to solve the situations that we are in now. We cannot fail, we can only succeed.”

Panelist: Gameela Ismail, Egyptian politician, Co-founder of Egypt’s Al Dostour political party, activist, prominent TV anchor & film producer/ Founder of Medina, a unique first of its kind online media platform - Egypt/Europe
Ms. Ismail said, "We need our health and safety, risking the least of our privacy.  We need to protect our health and thus survive and continue to live without losing the essence and meaning of life itself" 

Panelist: Gregory Simpkins: Senior Advisor at USAID, Former Chairman, U.S House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations -USA
Mr. Simpkins said that "COVID has been a game changer. At USAID we're looking toward the future towards how to help African governments to stabilize their economies, the political situation and the social situation. It isn't going to be easy, but we all have to look toward the future."

Sofia Rajab Leteipan Web Forum

Panelist: Sofia Rajab-Leteipan, MD, Leteipan & Associates Advocates/ Advocate of the High Court of Kenya/ Creator and Host of the 'Dear Law Podcast' - Kenya/SouthAfrica
Ms. Leteipan said, “The whole system of Government and Devolution is not working. The different level of measures that have been put by the government exasperated the level of violations. Trying to also make sure to hold government accountable for the funds given from donors and how much money is going to where it is needed. ”

Panelist: Julius Nkafu, FCI, Arb, Public Access Barrister, Great James Street Chambers/ Vice Chair of Unite Union, United Kingdom / Chairman of the Cameroon Business Council/ Member of the Appeals and Sanctions Board of the African Development Bank Group (ADB)- Cameroon/ London
Mr. Nkafu stated that “We are going to be swimming in a sea of disputes, and the court systems may not be suitable for resolving them because of the difficulties in recognising and enforcing foreign judgments. Therefore, it will be most sensible to resolve disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation and arbitration, that will not get yourself in litigation and in court.”