Photo: OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP via Getty Images

Issue No: 21/2020

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 9 September 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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References: AfricaCDC, ACLED and African Arguments

This week’s edition focuses largely on the issues of discrimination, stigma and human rights challenges that have arisen as a result of responses and measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. We feature an article by Nardos Bekele-Thomas, the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in South Africa, who reflects on the strides that the organisation is making to contribute to the fight against stigma and discrimination. Solomon Dersso, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, raises the alarm on the impact of COVID-19 not only on political freedoms and socio-economic rights, but also on the rights to health and life. The efforts aimed at ensuring the involvement, engagement and partnerships with the youth in Africa are emphasised by Chiamaka Nwachukwu and Raouf Farrah, as they share the work being done by the African Youth Front on Coronavirus. The edition ends with Nontobeko Gcabashe and Rumbidzaishe Matambo’s call for more engagements and the raising of awareness to confront the stigma and discrimination relating to COVID-19 that has been experienced in some countries over the last few months.

Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Photo: Rita Franca/NurPhoto
Photo: Rita Franca/NurPhoto
Nardos Bekele-Thomas
Features, Stigmatisation and discrimination

Stigma and misinformation from COVID-19 is taking a human toll

  • Nardos Bekele-Thomas

Stigma and misinformation from COVID-19 are such clear and present threats to global health that they are causing as much concern to policymakers as the pandemic itself. These attitudes and behaviours are killing people and causing harm through hate speech, disinformation, discrimination and xenophobia.

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Photo: REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Photo: REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Solomon Dersso
Features, Trust between Citizens & Institutions

The impact of COVID-19 on human and peoples’ rights in Africa

  • Solomon Dersso

The COVID-19 pandemic, as a biomedical public health issue, poses a grave threat to health and life. It is most infectious. It causes serious illness. It is also deadly. With no vaccine yet to treat it, COVID-19 continues to pose a serious threat to the rights to health and life of people. Indeed, the governance and socio-economic fallout from COVID19 poses an even more serious threat to large number of human and peoples’ rights. How we respond to COVID-19 and its impacts on the basis of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights could prove to be the litmus test for mitigating the grave consequences to the political freedoms and socio-economic rights of people on the continent.

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Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia
Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia

On 6 May 2020, the African Union (AU) Office of the Youth Envoy, with the support of the Commissioner of Social Affairs and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), established the African Youth Front on Coronavirus. This is an AU framework to engage youth in decision-making, to contribute youth-led solutions and co-lead Africa’s response to the pandemic, as well as to support the implementation of the African Continental Strategic Plan for COVID-19 pandemic.

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Photo: REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Photo: REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Rumbidzaishe Matambo
Nontobeko Gcabashe
Stigmatisation and discrimination

Stigma and discrimination: consequences of the fear of COVID-19

  • Rumbidzaishe Matambo
  • Nontobeko Gcabashe

COVID-19 has provoked a series of acts – such as stigma and discrimination against certain groups – across the continent that have exacerbated human rights concerns. According to data captured in the ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict and Resilience Monitor data set, to date 22 out of the 55 African Union Member States have reported incidents of stigmatisation and discrimination due to COVID-19. Such incidents call for the continuation of society-wide measures to raise awareness and disseminate information that this is a worldwide pandemic affecting anyone, regardless of race or culture.

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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.