The podcast series “African Voices, African Arguments” features African scholars, writers, policy makers and activists on issues of peace, justice and democracy, and is produced by World Peace Foundation and presented in partnership with African Arguments and The Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University.

Episode 10

In Episode 10, host Alex de Waal speaks with Dr. Lawrence Sao Babawo on the challenges faced by Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis and the lessons learned being applied to COVID-19 responses today.

This time around the security are there, they are not carrying any guns…in groups where there are civilians they are working together, there is nothing like using guns or force on people and that kind of thing…it is purely very professional.

Lawrence Sao Babawo is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Community Health Sciences in the Department of Nursing, Njala University. When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Sierra Leone, Lawrence was appointed a member of the Scientific, Technical and Advisory Group for Emergencies (STAGE) on COVID-19 by the President of Sierra Leone.

Headshot Lawrence Sao Babawo

Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation and Research Professor at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He has worked on the Horn of Africa, and on conflict, food security and related issues since the 1980s as a researcher and practitioner. He served as a senior advisor to the African Union High Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan. He was listed among Foreign Policy’s 100 most influential international intellectuals in 2008 and Atlantic’s 29 ‘brave thinkers’ in 2009 and is the recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Huxley Award. De Waal’s recent books include: The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and the Business of Power (Polity 2015), Mass Starvation: The history and future of famine (Polity 2018), New Pandemics, Old Politics: 200 years of the war on disease and its alternatives (Polity 2021), and (as co-author), Sudan’s Unfinished Democracy: The promise and betrayal of a people’s revolution (Hurst and Oxford 2022).

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African Arguments is a pan-African platform for news, investigation and opinion that seeks to analyse issues facing the continent, investigate the stories that matter, and amplify a diversity of voices.

The Institute for Global Leadership is an incubator of innovative ways to educate learners at all levels to understand and engage with difficult global issues. They develop new generations of effective and ethical leaders who are able and driven to comprehend complexity, reflect cultural and political nuance, and engage as responsible global citizens in anticipating and confronting the world’s most pressing problems.

Photo: A UN Peacekeeper uses a Veronica Bucket to sanitize her hands. MONUSCO/Michael Ali (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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