Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Feature Articles on COVID-19
During the global crisis ACCORD's analysis will be focus on the impact of the pandemic on conflict potential in Africa
Africa’s diplomatic system has adjusted swiftly to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) realities of conducting business. This is visible in the flurry of virtual consultations among decision-makers to chart common ways forward. The high number of African Union (AU)-led consultations over the past few months reflect a deep-seated conviction that collective action is the best way to address Africa’s challenges effectively.
The lockdown-type measures adopted by governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has deprived mediators and facilitators of the opportunity to use these important tools to resolve African conflicts and consolidate the implementation of peace agreements. However, we hope for a successful fight against COVID-19 in Africa that will reopen opportunities for mediation in Africa.
There is now an unprecedented opportunity for Europe to begin its journey towards a new contemporary and future shared ethical relationship, and do so not only as good regionalism, but also as an exercise in multilateralism, forging a new approach in its relationship with Africa, this time based on solidarity, one that will include a fundamental re-examination of how unfair trade and existing debt structures are impeding, not only the capacity to respond to COVID-19, but also the necessary transformations which a continent is getting underway, with an African agency that seeks a new form of partnership with its most proximate neighbour, the European Union.
If we do not change the face of politics, if we continue to ignore the lessons of decades of women’s activism, if we continue to spend our resources on weapons rather than on social services, we will have a harder time recovering from this pandemic, preventing the next one, or overcoming the climate crisis. It is an easy choice to make.
Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu provides an overview of the AU COVID-19 Response Fund
It has been more than 130 days since the first reported case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Africa. When many were still trying to comprehend the outbreak of COVID-19, at the African Union (AU) we immediately adopted the ‘new normal’. The 13 consultations we convened with over 400 youth from 42 African countries were eye-opening on both the challenges and innovations by African youth in fighting the virus.
The breakout of the coronavirus (COVID-19) set in motion one of the most devastating global crises of our time. While COVID-19 started as a health crisis, the pandemic quickly morphed into a society-wide strategic, security and social economic crisis of monumental proportions.
Women-led organisations that are dealing with peace, security and development are playing a key role in developing policies, strategies and guidelines for gender-responsive actions to prevent and combat COVID-19, and in post-COVID-19 recovery.
The COVID-19 measures have placed a responsibility on all of us to ensure that the strides that various African countries had made to consolidate their democracies by holding regular, transparent, and free elections are not reversed.
Today, our world is beset with increases in conflicts, the growing threat of violent extremism and a young population that is increasingly less hopeful about living in peace. We simply cannot continue this way. It is time to change. Silencing the guns requires a multitude of actors and commitments, including the involvement of women through the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, which remains a key ingredient for peace.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the global order, impacting our social, economic and political efforts across the globe including Africa. The African Union (AU) in collaboration with its partners has led interventions to contain the spread of COVID-19 on the continent with the leadership rallying to ensure robust preparedness for the aftermath of the pandemic.
Africa is at risk of getting the worst of both worlds: failure to check the epidemic and failure to check economic collapse. Why?
The corona virus has demonstrated that we can do many things that seemed impossible before. We are now allowed to think it is possible to contemplate a different set of rules and norms. There is a dramatic return to Keynesian policies by those who once kept at arm’s length what they considered a sin: to recognize public services as public goods that are to be properly funded. Treating them as investments in social capital instead of as liabilities. There is now a recognition that the key role of the state is back.
People may have their objections on the way institutions such as Governments are run, but they expect them to deliver. Part of this expected delivery by the institutions is the capacity to anticipate and manage crises. In an uncertain environment like the ongoing global COVID-19 public health crisis, trust in institutions is essential for compliance to measures to prevent the spread and contain the virus and even more critical to maintain peace, security and stability.
The political, economic and social dislocation that we are witnessing is unprecedented. History does not have many examples of what the resulting landscape will look like. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, actions by politicians, government functionaries, religious and community leaders, business people, and civil society can either fuel social and political conflict or mitigate it.
Borders in Africa and their management are a factor of the complex socio-economic, political, environmental, and demographic challenges that Africa faces. The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic has created a new and unprecedented challenge that can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities in Africa.