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LU Africa Webinar 2020

LU Alumni discussing COVID-19 - Continental consequences and actions

The African continent has not yet been as severely affected by the pandemic as other parts of the world although the number of infected people has increased the last few weeks.

To better understand the situation with Covid-19 in Africa, a webinar was organised on 8 December 2020 where three LU alumni shared personal observations and reflections about the pandemic. Consequences for research and education as well as and measures taken to address current and future impacts were discussed. Additionally, reflections on impacts in society and more personal observations was shared. The webinar was initiated and organised by the LU Africa Strategy Group.


Dr Vasna Ramasar, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS).


  • Cecilia Aipira, UNDP Team Leader for Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Rico Bergemann, Senior associate at IDinsight, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Dr Genesis T Yengoh, World Bank, Cameroon, leave of absence as researcher at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS)

Short bios

Dr Vasna Ramasar

is Associate Senior Lecturer in the Division of Human Ecology, Department of Human Geography at Lund University. Vasna has two Master’s degrees in Environmental Management and Development Studies respectively and a PhD in Sustainability Science. She worked in the development sector for over a decade including for NGOs in India, South Africa and Tanzania and organisations like UNDP and World Bank. She is a core group member of the Global Tapestry of Alternatives as well as maintaining her academic research and teaching in human-environment interactions with a focus on governance and social and environmental justice.

Cecilia Aipira 

services as a UNDP Team Leader for Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa based in the UNDP Resilience Hub in Nairobi, Kenya. She brings international development experience from Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. She has over 20 years of work experience in providing policy and programmatic support to national governments in the areas of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, gender equality and agricultural development. Since 2009, Cecilia has been working with the United Nations in different capacities at the national, regional and HQ levels. In addition to UNDP, Cecilia has also worked as a Regional Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Gender Advisor for UN Women Asia-Pacific. She also brings experience from the NGO sector working with smallholder farmers. Cecilia holds a Master’s degree in International Development and Management from Lund University.

Rico Bergemann 

is a Senior Associate at IDinsight based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since 2018, Rico has been working on an impact evaluation of an unconditional cash transfer programme in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Prior to joining IDinsight, Rico gained experience in the public sector at the German Embassy in Lusaka and held a position as board member and M&E advisor for a German NGO. Rico also worked for GIZ’s Zambian-German multi-sectoral HIV programme as an M&E Assistant and conducted mixed-method research on community participation and HIV prevention in Zambia for his Master’s thesis at Lund University. Rico holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Heidelberg University (Germany) and a M.Sc. in International Development and Management from Lund University (Sweden).

Dr Genesis T Yengoh

got both his MSc degree and PhD at Lund University - the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS’ LUMES Programme), and the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Sciences, Faculty of Sciences. He later worked as a post-doctoral research fellow, and later as a researcher at LUCSUS. Dr. Yengoh is currently Lead Consultant at Environmental Services Consulting, an environmental research firm based in Cameroon. As a researcher, Dr. Yengoh has a profound interest in the management of land resources for local development in African countries. Core areas of research focus include environmental management, land degradation, participatory resources management, and socio-ecological systems. He has extensive experience in teaching, research and collaboration with partners in many African countries including Cameroon, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, The Gambia, Côte d'Ivoire, DRC, the Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and more.


Pär Svensson
International coordinator
+46 46 222 77 42
par [dot] svensson [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se