Agenda

The Center for African Studies will host its 10th Annual Model African Union (MAU) conference virtually on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. If interested, please register at no cost by March 1st, 2022! 
 
About the MAU Program
Students will be assigned an African country and will roleplay as delegates from that country to the African Union. Leading up to the conference, students will research their country, how it's been affected by Covid-19, and its public health response. On the day of the conference students will gather virtually to deliberate and negotiate potential solutions to address the challenges facing the countries they represent.  To ensure that all students get the opportunity to speak and participate, we will use individual sessions to put delegations into different breakout rooms. The delegations will work in groups in their rooms to create a resolution for their region. Afterwards, they will be invited into the main room where they will share their resolutions. The moderators will be available to answer any questions and to help facilitate discussion among the groups. 
 
Each delegation will prepare two reports for the conference: one on Public Health and the other on the effects of Covid-19. The reports should be specific and brief and should address the following:  
  • What are the economic, political, and social effects of Covid-19 in their country?
  • What has the government done about it? What challenges is the government facing in addressing these challenges?
  • What issues associated with public health and Covid-10 do you propose be addressed from a continent-wide perspective?
  • What is healthcare like compared to the US?
  • Do you have any recommendations?
     
Preparation & Research
Delegates will do research to become familiar with the following: the African Union, their assigned country, public health in their country, and how Covid-19 has affected their country. In more detail:
The African Union (AU): Learn the purpose and goals of the African Union, its response to the pandemic, and Africa's strengths and weaknesses with public health.
General background of country: Learn about your country to understand its policies. You might research the population size, type of government, economic activities, and the country's relationship with the international community  
Public Health and Covid-19: How is your country addressing Covid-19? What is the scope of the problem? How strong (or not) is the public health system? What have some neighboring countries said publicly about the pandemic - and have they mentioned your country?
 
The Conference Agenda 
The Heads of State for AU members have been called to meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to develop an AU-wide plan of action to address the Covid-19 pandemic with emphasis on public health history and Africa’s response to public health. 
 
 
Session 1. Public Health 
According to the CDC, Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and communities. This is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing, and responding to infectious diseases. Public health professionals work to limit health disparities by promoting healthcare equity, accessibility, and quality. In effort to prevent the spread of disease, public health professionals educate and vaccinate people who are most at risk.  
 
Note: What is public health capacity? Some things to consider researching:
  • How many hospitals are in your country?
  • How easy or difficult is it for most people to get to the hospital? What kind of transportation is available?
  • What is the average life expectancy? (For men, for women?)
  • Before Covid-19, what was the biggest health problem in the country? (HIV, child malnutrition, malaria, etc.)
  • What is the maternal mortality rate (what percentage of women die in childbirth)?
  • In the US, we have urgent care and emergency rooms. What does your country have in place for emergency health care?
  • Can most people afford to go to the doctor? Or is it too expensive so they don't go?
 
2. Fighting Covid-19 
According to the World Health organization, Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The best way to prevent and slow transmission is to be well-informed. This virus spreads easily through the mouth or nose in small liquid particles when one coughs, sneezes, speaks, sings, or breathes. This virus has shut down the world and affected life in drastic ways. The effects are not limited to the economy or to public health - Covid-19 has changed how people in most countries go about their daily lives.
 
Note: All over the world, there are disparities in health and in public health capacity, which affects countries' responses to Covid-19. With social media, we witnessed some of the different responses to Covid-19. Before the vaccine was created, countries instituted social distancing and travel restrictions. Healthcare professionals were called to the frontlines of the pandemic, and often stayed at health camps. With this new disease, there were a lot of theories and myths about it, and governments and other organizations had to educate their populations to keep the public from panicking.  
 

These are some topics to consider researching:

  • What are the vaccination rates?
  • Why is it difficult for citizens of African nations to get vaccinated?
  • What are the different Covid mandates in your country?
  • What is the hospital resourcing available?
  • Are there any cultural perceptions of having Covid and or getting the vaccine?
  • Is Covid like any other common sicknesses in your country?
 

 

Committees

There will be three committees. Each comittee can be made up of a maximum of 3 students, equaling no more than 9 students per country. Although these are just examples of the questions, we encourage you to expand the scope of conversation and debate based on research and findings to support a strong argument.

COMMITTEE ON DEMOCRACY, GOVERNANCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

  • Who has the power to influence and change the distribution of funds in relation to healthcare?
  • How seriously do countries take human rights ? 
  • What is the political stability of this country?
  • What is the diplomatic status of this country? Are they accepting refugees?

COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC MATTERS 

  • Who determines how the funds are allocated toward health responsibilities?
  • How has the GDP of the country changed?
  • How are small businesses/large corporations making or losing money?
  • For countries that rely on tourism, travel, etc. how has that affected their mandate ? 

COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL MATTERS

  • Consider living situations, social hierarchy, and their impact as determinants of health?
  • How has crime, entrepreneurship, business, etc. changed due to COVID?
  • How has education been impacted, and which professional fields do students veer toward?

 

Suggested Timeline
December – Teams should continue researching their respective countries while focusing on the agenda topics using the format outlined on the previous page. Determine where your country stands on the agenda topics and highlight what challenges they face (as well as suggestions to overcoming these obstacles).  
January – Expand your research from your specific country to looking at neighboring countries to determine how public health and Covid-19 have affected the region. 
February – Begin drafting the 1-2-page policy briefs on behalf of your countries regarding agenda items 1 and 2. These policy reports will be used during the individual breakout sessions when working with other delegations to draft regional resolutions. 
March – Work on final preparations for the Conference while reviewing your country’s position, policies, and aspirations for the MAU. 
March 23rd, YOUR HARD WORK HAS PAID OFF! The MAU is finally here! We look forward to hosting you and having a wonderful learning experience and a fun day together.