Photo by Paul Kagame Flickr

Issue No: 1/2021

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 10 February 2021

During the COVID-19 crisis ACCORD's analysis will be focused on the impact of the pandemic on conflict and resilience in Africa.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
References: AfricaCDC, ACLED and African Arguments

ACCORD is launching the 2021 series of the COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor today. We will continue to follow the impact and effects of COVID-19 on Africa’s peace and security landscape, and to analyse the factors that contribute to Africa’s resilience. 

This week’s issue features President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria, who makes a case for Africa’s self-resilience and finding home-grown solutions for the continent to bounce back in particular from the socio-economic devastations caused by COVID-19. 

The issue of societal resilience and reinforcing local coping and community support mechanisms in the face of the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 is emphasised in the piece by Dr Norman Chivasa, which delves into the ingenuity of savings clubs in Zimbabwe. 

The Monitor ends with Mwansa Rodgers’ reflections on how the handling of COVID-19 measures has contributed to governance related challenges, as well as political unrest in Zambia, thus contributing to strained relations between government and the general public, as well as negatively impacting on trust in the ability of public institutions to be responsive to the plight visited on the population by COVID-19.

Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Photo by Jonathan Ernst / World Bank
Photo by Jonathan Ernst / World Bank

The effect of COVID-19 has not been limited to Africa alone. The pandemic first emerged in China, the epicentre, from where it spread to Europe, and then to North and South America. If these regions of the world that have been heavily infected and affected by COVID-19, are able to implement measures to bounce back then we in Africa must do the same by learning from their experience and by devising our own home-grown solutions.

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Photo by Baynham Goredema
Photo by Baynham Goredema

Savings clubs and other such community self-help arrangements can help people to cope better with the negative side-effects of the lockdown policies that governments introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19. In countries such as Zimbabwe, without an effective social protection system for the poor and disadvantaged, savings clubs have often provided a buffer against the vagaries of broader economic and social challenges in local communities. Typically, ordinary people in Zimbabwe are faced with hunger and poverty due to a complex combination of macroeconomic instability, climate shocks and policy missteps. COVID-19, lockdown policies and social distancing regulations have added to the burden faced by ordinary people and have produced negative consequences on both formal and informal economic activities. The unemployment rate is estimated at 90%.

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Photo by SALIM DAWOOD/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by SALIM DAWOOD/AFP via Getty Images

The impact of COVID-19 has become far-reaching and multidimensional in nature. It ranges from social, cultural, physical, economic to political dimensions. While many countries are working hard to ensure that the impact is minimised, new challenges are emerging. It is clear that the pressure of the pandemic has exacerbated a mounting economic crisis.

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ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.

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