COVID-19 Research & Analysis
During the global crisis ACCORD's analysis will be focused on the impact of the pandemic on conflict in Africa
Restrictions on human interactions have become mandatory in certain countries with imposed social distancing requirements. Many public services have become highly limited, if not completely halted; leaving persons with disabilities abandoned in terms of getting access to essential healthcare and social services.
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.
For most crises, it comes down to money and expertise. But a pandemic is different, at least at the beginning. Even more than stimulus checks or ventilators, resilience to a pandemic requires strong social capital for collective action, where millions of individual women, men, and children are willing and able to make the small or large personal sacrifices necessary to stop the disease before it spreads. If West Africa is going to avoid catastrophe, embracing the lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic and leveraging strong social capital is their best bet.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments across the world have resorted to the use emergency powers to enforce compliance with public health social distancing regulations.
The future of international cooperation will demand deep and far-reaching institutional reform. It would also necessitate a rethink of the current configuration of the global governance architecture and a rekindling of its tools.
Some have warned that the coronavirus pandemic might lead to hunger, riots, instability, and civil war, especially in Africa. How likely are such worst-case scenarios?
There is no simple exit strategy for each African state. However, the UNECA report has prioritized the need to ensure that there are sound governance strategies that are put in place to respond to COVID-19.
Regional unity is the strength against the pandemic in West Africa and the Sahel. But be careful not to forget fundamental human rights.
The continued arrests of citizens for various violations of lockdown measures is expected to increase tensions between states and citizens.
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.
While COVID-19 is a global challenge, Africa is especially vulnerable to the associated economic disruptions.