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  • Author: Mehdi Lahlou
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic has turned into a global economic crisis with severe social effects in the least developed countries, particularly in Africa. Pre-existing challenges related to widespread poverty, demographic growth, food insecurity and governance issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic. While migration remains one of the key elements of the partnership agenda between Africa and the European Union, the aggravating socioeconomic situation in the African continent due to the impact of COVID-19 and its implications for migration dynamics requires going beyond business-as-usual approaches. The renewed scenario calls for a more comprehensive and development-oriented approach to migration, requiring new policy initiatives addressing the wider set of conditions that, beyond constituting developmental challenges in their own right, also drive migration in North Africa as well as in Sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, European Union, Mobility, Asylum, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, North Africa
  • Author: Julia Leininger, Christoph Strupat, Yonas Adeto, Abebe Shimeles, Wilson Wasike
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Direct and indirect effects' of the Covid-19 pandemic on the prospects of structural transformation in Africa are at the core of this study. It is comprehensive and identifies patterns of country groups. Social cohesion matters for effective policy responses and longer-term sustainable development.
  • Topic: Sustainable Development Goals, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Mma Amara Ekeruchera
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 outbreak began in December 2019 in the Wuhan city of China and has continued to spread globally. As of this writing, 28.2 million cases have been recorded globally with 910,000 deaths. Aside the health impact, the pandemic has led to an unprecedented disruption in economic activities, initiating a sudden demand, supply, and financial shock. The mitigation strategies put in place by governments across the world to curb the virus as well as the uncertainty associated with the pandemic has led to a reduction in the consumption of non-essential commodities. Meanwhile, disruptions to global supply chains in a closely connected world as well as the reduced demand have necessitated a slowdown in production. Furthermore, investors have become more risk averse with the prices of risk assets falling to levels experienced in the 2007-20008 global financial crisis. To counteract the fall in private sector demand, stabilize the financial system, and ensure economic recovery, governments and central banks across the world have deployed a range of policies and programmes. Central banks are cutting policy rates and providing direct liquidity to the financial system. Federal and sub-national governments are providing tax relief, cash transfers, and employee retention schemes to alleviate the burden on affected individuals and businesses. Africa is not left behind as governments have increased spending plans (about 1.9% of their GDP) and central banks are adopting more accommodating monetary policies.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Monetary Policy, Central Bank, Macroeconomics, Pandemic, COVID-19, Socioeconomics , Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jeremy Bowles, Horacio Larreguy, Shelley Liu
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We examine how information from trusted social media sources can shape knowledge and behavior when misinformation and mistrust are widespread. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe, we partnered with a trusted civil society organization to randomize the timing of the dissemination of messages aimed at targeting misinformation about the COVID-19 virus to 27,000 newsletter WhatsApp subscribers. We examine how exposure to these messages affects individual beliefs about how to deal with the COVID-19 virus and preventative behavior. The results show that social media messaging from trusted sources may have substantively large effects on not only individual knowledge but also ultimately on related behavior.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Internet, Social Media, Pandemic, COVID-19, Misinformation , WhatsApp
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Odd Helge Fjeldstad, Ole Therkildsen
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need in poor countries in Africa for more revenues is obvious and growing - also because aid agencies are quite stingy in assisting them in this crisis. The pandemic’s negative impact on revenues is especially pronounced in countries that are most dependent on international trade, tourism and petroleum exports. The good news is that sub-Saharan African tax collectors have performed almost as well as their peers in the much wealthier Latin America and substantially better than in South Asian countries. Increased domestic revenue mobilisation (DRM) in poor African countries is possible depending on the country’s specific situation and political economy - but it will not be easy: The IMF’s position is that increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio by five percentage points by 2030 is a reasonable aspiration for poor countries. That was unrealistic before Covid-19: it is even more so now. No silver bullet ('tax the rich'!) will generate substantial additional revenues on its own. Better utilisation of a range of revenues sources is needed. A stop for Illicit Financial Flows will clearly help, but is not the golden egg that many believe. Inequality may increase due to Covid-19. However, major redistribution through domestic taxation (as in the Danish welfare state model) is unrealistic in countries with low revenue-to-GDP ratios. Nor is there strong organised political support for such redistribution in poor African countries. Donor support to DRM in poor countries can provide manifold returns on investments if targeted strategically. Support to relevant local and international civil society organisations is also important to help to foster public engagement in tax reforms and improved fiscal accountability. The Sustainable Development Goals in poor countries are strongly under-financed. The progress and sustainability of the SDGs will increasingly depend on poor countries’ own revenues. Hence the centrality of strategically relevant donor support to DRM.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Tax Systems, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Atif Choudhury, Yawei Liu, Ian Pilcher
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In May 2020, the Carter Center’s China Program partnered with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) to organize a virtual workshop on Africa-U.S.-China cooperation on COVID-19 response. The workshop brought together a range of experts from the U.S, China, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, and South Africa to discuss the public health impact and wider policy implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent. Emory University’s Global Health Institute and The Hunger Project also helped identify speakers and moderate panels.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, United States, China, Asia, South Africa, North America, Ethiopia, Burundi
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Almost all African countries rolled out significant measure in response to Covid-19. From border closures through to the use of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to restricted gatherings and contact tracing, a combination of diverse public health safety strategies was employed. These same strategies nonetheless would make preparations toward holding smooth and timely elections cumbersome. Ghana’s electoral commissioner announced an indefinite postponement of its voter registration exercise, it is still in consultation with stakeholders on carrying out the exercise with only six months to its presidential and parliamentary elections if the timeline stays the same. Niger also suspended its voter registration exercise; Ethiopia postponed its elections entirely. Other countries that have had some forms of election postponement include Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana
  • Author: Michael Belafi
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: African debt relief has repeatedly appeared in news around the world over the past month. Recently, the debate has come to Canada and the Government has claimed they’re considering it. Here are two reasons why Canada should pursue African debt relief.
  • Topic: Debt, International Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Canada, North America
  • Author: Alexandra de Sousa
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: At this juncture, all findings and projections must be interpreted with caution since our understanding of COVID-19 is evolving, and today’s assumptions may not hold. Nearly six months have passed since this virus has garnered attention and there continue to be numerous key questions immunologists, virologists and epidemiologists have trouble answering. Among them is how COVID-19 will evolve in Africa. As of the time of writing, the number of cases that SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, officially inflicted in Africa is so low[1] that it has been labeled the silent epidemic. The optimists point to the continent’s natural advantages of youth and weather, and its public health experience and resourcefulness[2] as reasons for such low numbers, while the skeptics point to a lack of infrastructure, including testing capacity.
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Emily Gilfillan
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for governments around the world. In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. In addition to a worldwide health crisis, the pandemic has had far-reaching socioeconomic impacts that have been severest for the most vulnerable people and have exacerbated existing inequalities. This presents wealthy countries like Canada with a challenge: addressing the health crisis and economic fallout at home, while simultaneously supporting a global COVID-19 response and continuing to tackle existing development priorities. This report explores the implications of COVID-19 for Canada’s development assistance efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Given that 27 of the 28 poorest countries in the world are located in SSA and half of Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget is expected to go to countries in Africa by 2021-22, it is a priority region. To date, Canada has maintained ODA spending levels, while also providing additional funds in support of global efforts to address COVID-19. Evidence suggests that pre-pandemic priorities in the region, such as gender equality, health, and food security, have not been derailed. Rather, the impact of the pandemic has reinforced the importance of core development objectives such as achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) is fit for purpose to address the gendered impact of the pandemic. It is clear that the pandemic does not affect men and women equally. While the right policy tools are in place, building back better will require Canadian resolve and leadership to stay the course and ensure the most vulnerable are not left behind.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Finance, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Canada, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Dris Nouri
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to Algeria has forced the Algerian popular Hirak to suspend demonstrations that continued without interruption for over a year despite the authorities’ various manoeuvres to disrupt them. This paper examines the Algerian authorities’ attempt to exploit the suspension of the protests to deal with the Hirak and assesses the ability of the popular movement to overcome this period.
  • Topic: Protests, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Oppression
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria
  • Author: Fadi El-Jardali
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In the Arab region, countries have become increasingly dependent on non-state actors, notably the private sector, for healthcare provision and any response that includes the State alone may not be sufficient to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper explores how state and non-state actors in Arab countries have collaborated so far and suggests ways forward to ensure quality healthcare services for all.
  • Topic: Non State Actors, Governance, Health Care Policy, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East
  • Author: Eya Jrad
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: With COVID-19, Tunisia is dealing with an unprecedented emergency that is testing its newly established democratic institutions. This paper explores how Tunisia’s different institutions have responded so far to the crisis, and sheds light on how each is trying to assert its role under the exceptional circumstances imposed by the pandemic.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Salma Houerbi
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The consequences of Covid-19 on Tunisia’s already fragile economy are bound to exacerbate existing social tensions. The government has rolled out a series of socio-economic measures to support individual entrepreneurs and businesses to maintain jobs and incomes across all sectors. This paper argues that the government’s support to the private sector represents a golden opportunity to rectify longstanding problems in state-business relations and institute a culture of corporate accountability. But to do so, the government should place the Covid-19 response within a broader effort to address the persistent and systemic challenges the country faces from corruption to rent-seeking to vulnerable workers’ conditions.
  • Topic: Public Health, Humanitarian Crisis, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Khayreddine Basha
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The military conflict between Haftar and GNA forces in Libya continues to escalate, unaffected by Covid-19 or international calls for a ceasefire. A lack of coordination between the fighting parties and the ineffective implementation of measures to fight the spread of the pandemic further compound Libya’s worsening humanitarian situation. This paper explores Covid-19 impact on the health and humanitarian situation in Libya and examines the factors that contribute to the continuation of the conflict, including the incitement of international and regional actors involved in it.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Conflict, Public Health, Humanitarian Crisis, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya
  • Author: Ezman Kunna
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Sudan’s current transitional government has inherited a fragile health system that suffered years of neglect and underinvestment. The spread of COVID-19 poses important challenges to the country’s health and political structures. This Q&A looks at how Sudan’s government and non-government actors are faring against the spread of the pandemic and the impact of the lockdown on the political transition in the country.
  • Topic: Political stability, Public Health, Pandemic, Transition, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Afef Hammami Marrakchi
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: What role can local authorities in Tunisia play as part of the country’s response to Covid-19? This paper examines the opportunities offered to Tunisian municipalities (communes) by the Local Government Act but also the real constraints – human, logistical, and financial – that these new devolved structures face as they seek to play a key role in the recovery.
  • Topic: Recovery, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Ishac Diwan, Nadim Houry, Yezid Sayigh
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Egypt’s recent security and macro-economic stabilization has been built on weak foundations and Covid-19 has further exposed this fragility. Egypt is now back to a situation broadly similar to that before the 2011 revolution: stable on the surface, but with deep structural problems and simmering social grievances, and little buffers to mitigate them. This paper argues for a major shift in the ways the country is currently governed in favour of greater openness in politics and markets, and for the international community to seriously engage Egypt on the need to reform economically and politically.
  • Topic: Security, Arab Spring, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Alessandra Bajec
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Tunisian women in rural areas have played a vital role in maintaining food security during the coronavirus pandemic but continue to suffer exploitation and exclusion. While their working conditions are already known for being dire, the public health crisis has compounded their economic and social insecurity. This paper discusses the systemic exploitative treatment of female agricultural workers, the state’s inability so far to protect them, and how local NGOs are helping to improve their lives.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Rural, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Jonas Mbabazi, Fred Kasalirwe, Phoebe Atukunda, Walter Akena
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This policy brief presents proposals that will cushion local governments from the impact of COVID-19. Undeniably, responding to Covid-19 challenges at any level is associated with heavy demands on human, financial and logistical resources. Globally, Covid-19 emergence response is multi-sectorial to enable a holistic solution to the concomitant challenges. District councils, a creation of the Local Government Act are mandated to oversee health services. Other than frontline health workers, each district has a community-based services department with officers’ in-charge of probation and social welfare, social rehabilitation, children and youth affairs, gender, disability and elderly, culture, labour and many others. Since the mandate of personnel in this department is to operate in communities, these should be enlisted to respond and manage the community-component of Covid-19.
  • Topic: Government, Local, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report is a synthesis of proceedings of the 10th high level dialogue on the national budget that largely focused on what should be prioritized during the Covid-19 pandemic, what the change may mean for the Uganda's development in the short-term and the interventions for economic recovery.
  • Topic: Budget, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Economic Recovery
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Onesmus Mugyenyi, Anthony Mugeere, Anna Amumpiire Akandwanaho
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This policy brief argues for the conservation of the environment during and after the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time enhancing community resilience to climate change shocks. The brief proposes recommendations that need to be addressed by the Government of Uganda and all stakeholders in the Environment and Natural Resources sector in order to achieve sustainable development.
  • Topic: Environment, Conservation, Resilience, Community, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Jonas Mbabazi, Fred Kasalirwe
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This policy brief is a product of the assessment of the performance of the COVID-19 District Task Forces (DTFs) in Uganda. This study on the performance of the COVID-19 District Task Forces was conducted under the Local Government Council's Scorecard Initiative (LGCSCI), a social accountability project implemented in 35 Districts in Uganda. The main objective of the study was to establish the determinants and level of performance of District COVID-19 Task Forces to enhance their effectiveness.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Wilson Winstons Muhwezi, Jonas Mbabazi, Fred Kasalirwe, Phoebe Atukunda, Eugene Gerald Ssemakula, Oscord Mark Otile, Rebecca N. Mukwaya, Walter Akena
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report is an important assessment of the performance of the DTFs in implementing the COVID-19 pandemic containment plan. As the world is faced with the unprecedented challenges from COVID-19, the strain on many governments is extreme, and the impact on people all over the world continues to grow. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the social and economic structures of service delivery with significant consequences on lives, livelihoods and general economic development. As part of the response mechanism to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Uganda instituted national and sub-national COVID-19 task forces to implement and manage the COVID-19 pandemic containment and recovery measures. The Presidential Decree on COVID-19 recognizes the Central Government's role in the provision of healthcare and security. District Taskforces (DTFs) were put in place to support Central Government's containment of COVID-19 and implementation of the GoU COVID-19 containment styrategies of case management, surveillance, health promotion, resource mobilization, enforcement of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and continued delivery of basic services.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa