Some of the measures put in place by governments to contain COVID-19 appear to be linked to an increase in organised crime that profits from, among others, smuggling people and goods such as alcohol and cigarettes (that have been banned as part of the COVID-19 measures).
The continued arrests of citizens for various violations of lockdown measures is expected to increase tensions between states and citizens.
The primary goal in the fight against COVID-19 is to prevent the spread of the virus and to care for those infected. As a result, African countries have acted faster than any region with a comparable rate of infection, and in the process thousands of lives have been saved.
In the last few weeks, there have been a significant increase in the number of arrests in some African countries, most for the failure to comply with COVID-19 related rules and regulations. The high number of arrests could further lower levels of public trust and increase the likelihood of social unrest and violence.
Real or perceived shortages of basic needs, and the disruption of normal functions and routines caused by the measures taken to contain COVID-19, coupled with poverty, unemployment and inequality across Africa, could result in an increase in crime.