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Participants at the round-table in Dortmund to commemorate this year's Africa Day/Photo: AfricanTide Union

AfricanTide devotes Africa Day to impact of COVID-19 on community and continent

AfricanTide Union traditionally holds a conference, usually attended by hundreds of participants, in the western German city of Dortmund to mark the African Union Day. The Day marks the anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) on 25 May 1963.

Due to the containment measures in force as a result of the new coronavirus pandemic, the organisation cancelled the annual event this year. 

AfricanTide Union nevertheless engaged a small group of 25 participants from the local African community in a round-table discussion on Africa and COVID-19. “Despite the easing of the containment measures, the risk is still too great to bring people in large numbers together,” said Dr RosaLyn Dressman, chairperson of the AfricanTide Union, explaining why the organisation scaled down the commemoration of the Africa Day this year.

Dr RosaLyn Dressman addresses the workshop/Photo: AfricanTide Union


“What does the global pandemic mean for the African continent? How can we support our families, friends and business partners? What interests us as well is our situation as diaspora in Germany,” Ms Dressman said, explaining why her organisation convened the gathering.

“We are in a more privileged position. There are brothers and sisters in the community who are particularly affected by the effects of this pandemic. Maybe they don’t have a caregiver who can help; are lonely; need someone to talk to; or especially now need additional support to keep their children mentally and physically fit for school,” she told participants at the round-table discussion, charging them to brainstorm on possible solutions.

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Since the African Union Day conference was always used to form working groups that seek solutions to identified challenges and problems of Africa and its diaspora, AfricanTide felt it was important to still bring people together even though in smaller numbers to deliberate on the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic, Dressman, a political scientist and development expert, added. 

The goals of the round-table were to make a contribution to the discussions on how to curb the spread of the disease in Africa and also to support the African community in Germany as it faces challenges occasioned by the global health crisis, she said.

Face masks being presented to participants at the workshop/Photo: AfricanTide Union


After the discussions, the participants were presented with hand-sewn masks made of African fabric. The masks were made by volunteers as part of the organisation’s “Masking Dortmund” project, which provides mouth and nose fabric masks to members of the African community and other residents of the city.

“In the coming weeks, a team of 25 members of AfricanTide Union will formulate detailed solutions and share them with you so that we as a collective can achieve our goals,” said Dr Dressman. “We would also like to thank you for your work. We have received many exciting projects from newsletters and masks to educational work. The cohesion of the community is especially important in such times. We hope you enjoyed, celebrated, and remembered the historic day of African Unity,” she added.

Sola Jolaoso

About AfricanTide Union:

AfricanTide Union develops strategies for a successful knowledge transfer. It helps migrants and professionals to always have the right answers to the ever-changing challenges of African-European business relations.

In collaboration with institutional partners, the AfricanTide team has built up an international network. Sustainable training concepts enable better chances on the job market and a successful life plan of individuals.

The organisation offers contacts and consultants – to both African and European companies. With its know-how it enables better business relations – transparent, fair and non-bureaucratic.

More information about AfricanTide Union at: http://africantide.com

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