The Covid-19 pandemic has been labelled alternatively as a potential geopolitical game-changer, or as an accelerator for trends which were already underway. For sure, the pandemic is acting as a threat-multiplier for countries that were already struggling with other threats, such as protracted conflicts, economic crises, and climate change. As the risk of a global food crisis looms, Africa and West Asia are the regions where this perfect storm is the most likely to happen.
Two mass protests in June 2020 in Mali’s capital Bamako shook up the country’s politics, threw the government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on the defensive, and precipitated international efforts to forestall what at least some of the protesters are calling for – Keïta’s resignation. A third mass demonstration may occur on 10 July.
Since 2017, Russian private military companies (PMC), such as the Wagner Group, have played a prominent role in facilitating the expansion of Moscow’s geopolitical influence in Africa. On the heels of Russia’s use of PMCs in Ukraine and Syria, Russia deployed Wagner Group PMCs to Libya in 2017, in order to facilitate Libya National Army (LNA) chieftain Khalifa Haftar’s ambitions for territorial expansion.
The early, widespread expectation that Africa would be the vulnerable ground – the easiest of preys – on which the virus that had first emerged in China would cause the most widespread devastation, in terms of sheer human losses directly linked to the pandemic, has not thus far materialized. For reasons that still need to be fully understood, the health impact of COVID-19 appears to have been comparatively limited.
On March 31, an announcement by the Ethiopian electoral commission rocked the boat in Addis Ababa. Legislative elections scheduled for August, 29, have been delayed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people who have contracted COVID-19 has surpassed 7.6 million, while the death toll is more than 420,000. In Africa, altogether, there are more than 220,000 confirmed cases with 5,900 deaths. The African Union (AU) has provided a platform on which layers of responsibility extend upwards through authorities, national states, RECs and the international community.
The novel coronavirus, more commonly known as COVID-19 has not (as of yet) caused the devastation to public health predicted in Africa by the World Health Organization at the dawn of the pandemic. Nevertheless, its socio-economic and political repercussions are of greatest concern to experts, analysts and civil society in West Africa.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had devasting effects in many countries across the globe, affecting every aspect of humanity. The scale of the crisis was unprecedented, with both developed and developing countries under immense pressure to curtail the spread of the virus and the associated negative consequences on the economy.
Uganda has confirmed 686 coronavirus cases, with no death, as of June 12. During late March, the government imposed a nationwide curfew and other restrictive measures, including the ban on gatherings of more than five people and the closing of non-essential businesses and schools. Since June 4, public transport resumed at half capacity, while the reopening of schools has been postponed until July 1. Wearing a mask in public is compulsory. Borders and the airport remain closed, and curfew is still in place.