Photo: UNAMID

Issue No: 34/2020

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 9 December 2020

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

This week’s Monitor features two articles that reflect both the disruptions caused by and the opportunities opened up due to the emergence and spread of COVID-19 in Africa. The first feature is by the President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, calling for a need for Africa to work in unity, in spite of COVID-19, to advance the silencing of the guns on the continent. In the second feature, Professor Carlos Lopez argues that while Africa cannot escape the devastating socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, a climate-smart COVID-19 recovery programme could contribute to a more resilient continent. 

Katharine Bebington provides an overview of the new challenges, as well as lessons coming out of experiences, from countries that conducted their elections in 2020 while dealing with the pandemic. Lastly, Dr Andrea Prah and Rumbidzaishe Matambo, drawing from the recently concluded UN High-Level debate on cooperation with regional and sub-regional mechanisms and the Extraordinary AU Summit on Silencing the Guns, reflect on the emerging priorities and activities of peace actors across the African continent.

Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Photo:GCIS
Photo:GCIS
Cross-border / Inter-State tensions, Features

Working in unity towards Silencing the Guns in Africa

  • H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa

The contributions at the 14th Extraordinary Summit on Silencing the Guns served to reaffirm the commitment of the current leadership of the continent to the moral and political duty given to us by our forebears to achieve an Africa free of conflict. The summit was able to answer some critical questions on the actions we must now take to advance this responsibility, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Photo: TEDxTarfaya
Photo: TEDxTarfaya
Carlos Lopes
Features, Livelihood Insecurity & Economic Impact

How a climate-smart COVID-19 recovery could lead to a more resilient Africa

  • Carlos Lopes

There is no getting around it: the COVID-19 crisis will hit Africa’s people particularly hard. Even if the infection rate remains low, the socio-economic devastation is already being felt. Access to clean water supplies and basic health services remain a challenge throughout the continent, making the containment measures taken by most countries all the more challenging. Beyond the immediate health concerns, the pandemic is triggering a global economic slowdown, which will severely hamper Africa’s development ambitions and curtail a successful two decades of macro-economic improvements and social gains.

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CRISTINA ALDEHUELA/AFP via Getty Images
CRISTINA ALDEHUELA/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty-five elections were scheduled for 2020 in Africa. While some states chose to postpone their elections, citing COVID-19, others opted to continue. Holding elections during a pandemic has resulted in a number of new challenges. Some states have exhibited resilience by managing to conduct well-run elections, despite COVID-19. However, in other cases, attempts to conduct elections during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased tensions, undermined trust in democracy and contributed to election-related violence.

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AMISOM Photo/Yunis Hussein Dekow
AMISOM Photo/Yunis Hussein Dekow
Andrea Prah
Rumbidzaishe Matambo
Cross-border / Inter-State tensions

The role of institutions in Silencing the Guns in Africa

  • Andrea Prah
  • Rumbidzaishe Matambo

In the first week of December 2020, two key meetings were held that will impact significantly on the coming year’s peace and security agenda in Africa. The first was the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) High-Level Debate on the cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations. The second noteworthy meeting was the African Union’s (AU) 14th Extraordinary Session on Silencing the Guns in Africa. While held separately, both meetings have informed and will direct the priorities and activities of peace actors across the African continent. The departure point dictating the synergies between the two meetings is how to leverage the partnerships among the UN, AU and regional and sub-regional organisations to silence the guns in Africa. This multi-stakeholder approach offered through institutional cooperation to silence the guns is increasingly important in a context where COVID-19 has acted as a force multiplier in several existing conflicts on the continent.

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