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.
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.
Nel maggio del 2020 il rilascio della cooperante italiana Silvia Romano, rapita e tenuta in ostaggio per quasi due anni dall’organizzazione terroristica al-Shabaab, ha suscitato grande interesse e forte emozione in Italia. Ad attirare l’attenzione, in particolare, sono state le circostanze dietro la sua liberazione e la modalità in cui questa è avvenuta. Sappiamo, ad esempio, che Silvia Romano si trovava in Somalia, a circa 30km dalla capitale Mogadiscio.