Since its inaugural conference held in May 2016, in Lagos, Nigeria, AROCSA has explored a number of themes in its annual conferences. These include ‘Africa in a Changing Global Context: People, Production, and Politics’ (2017), ‘Understanding and Navigating Regionalism in Africa’ (2018), ‘Leveraging Technology for Effective Government and Civil Society: A Review of Africa’s Digital Renaissance and Innovations in Civil Society (2019), and ‘Towards a more Sustainable Civil Society in Africa: Inclusion, Governance, and Impact’ (2021).
The 2020 conference was postponed due to the COVID pandemic. While these previous themes no doubt remain relevant in Africa’s developmental discourse, there are other equally pressing issues that present existential threats to African communities and ecosystems that require urgent attention.
Against this background, the sixth annual AROCSA conference interrogates the role of African civil society in safeguarding and supporting human and environmental health on the continent in the face of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which exposed the fragility of health infrastructure across Africa, as well as the increasing menace of climate change and how it threatens the existence of not only whole communities and ecosystems, but also how it impacts physical and mental health, livelihoods, food security, biodiversity, resource governance, and economic development on the continent.