One of the many side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has resulted in a world where racial tensions and xenophobia have been reinforced. In the past few months, we have witnessed xenophobic attacks on people of Asian descent in Europe and America, and mistreatments of Africans in Guangzhou, China.
Musings on the emergence of a virus in Wuhan, China and concerns of its spread at US borders by tourists and Americans returning mainly from China were the earliest pointers in the news on the roots of Ghana’s knowledge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, it looked like a distant reality for the African and Ghanaian context. As the virus made inroads into Europe and other continents and countries within them, the reality of the potential challenges of this health problem became apparent.
As much as the COVID-19 pandemic currently seems to generate comparatively low numbers of recorded cases and victims in Africa, its wide-ranging social, political and economic effects are already apparent. African governments’ responses to the emergency partly mirrored the containment and mitigation measures adopted in Europe, but they collided with a social and economic environment where lockdowns and social distancing are simply not sustainable.
Mobilising additional financial resources rapidly and at scale and lesson-learning cannot be handled by every country on their own, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa. These usually have little room for manoeuvre – including borrowing in capital markets and expanding tax revenues. A debt crisis was looming even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
The current global pandemic crisis (Covid-19) may affect international policy by transforming the foreign policy of many countries. Among these, the most affected could be the small-medium emerging powers that have pursued pro-active policies beyond their traditional regional borders, owing to the permissive multipolar environment. Turkey is amongst the countries that have widened the scope of their foreign policy in the last decade by following a multi-directional approach.
United Nations peace operations promote stability and security in some of the world’s most dangerous and fragile places. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, overstretched UN peacekeepers—civilian, military, and police—were a thin blue line helping to protect civilians, support peace agreements and contain conflicts in hot spots and war zones across the globe.
The 2019 Sudanese revolution has offered a genuine possibility of stability and peace for the first time in decades. This is, however, highly fragile due to an ongoing and increasingly severe economic crisis, protracted displacement, political threats to the transitional government, and now Covid-19.
This article analyzes the evolution of protest participation in Sudan from 2011 to 2018 using the data provided by the Arab Barometer Surveys. It finds that participation evolved substantially in both size and demographic determinants, reflecting the strong deterioration of the population’s socio-economic conditions over the last decade. The Arab Barometer surveys are the only cross-country source of data available for Arab countries. They were collected over five different waves in the last two decades.