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.