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  • Author: Dr. Tata E. Sunjo, Adeline Kaptue Wuyt, Dr. Yauba Saidu
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The entire world today is, in one way or another, affected by the spread of the novel coronavirus infection which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared to be a pandemic on the 11th of March 2020. This outbreak which has spread to all continents (Figure 1) has been characterized by exponential increase in infected cases, attributed deaths and socio-economic hardship. There are already more than 3.8 million confirmed cases globally with over 265 862 deaths (WHO Situation Report, 9 May 2020). The quality of the health system in a given country appears to not be an influential factor in preventing the installation or propagation of the pandemic as the nations with relatively robust health systems like in Europe and the USA have also been hit hard.
  • Topic: Health, World Health Organization, Health Care Policy, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Dr. Fuein Vera Kum, Henri Kouam
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The economic impact of COVID-19 will be broad-based, causing wages to fall due to social distancing and quarantine measures on the service sector. While communications and ICT-related sectors will be less affected, transport, entertainment and leisure sectors will be adversely affected, together with exports and domestic demand. Policymakers should utilise the $164 billion availed by international institutions to support SMEs and wages in the informal sector, whilst the 90 billion should be used in other to invest in the physical and digital infrastructure to support educational outcomes and employment over the medium term. Such actionable policies should accompany broader quarantine and social distancing measures.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Macroeconomics, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Dr. Asahngwa Constantine, Dr. Louis-Marie Kakdeu
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Cameroon on the 6th of March, 2020, 23 measures have been taken by the Cameroon Government which spoke through Prime Minister and Head of Government in a bid to contain the spread of this unwanted visitor or is it a permanent resident! Agreeably, the government’s response strategy has been in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines for its member states (WHO, 2020). The response strategy aims to interrupt transmission of the virus as well as effective management of confirmed cases. The most common preventive measures include: social distancing, suspension of mass gathering of more than 50 persons, frequent hand washing with soap, disinfecting surfaces with alcohol and sanitizers, self-isolation, quarantining of conformed cases and the obligatory putting on of a face mask in all public places. However, there have been some concerns relating to the effectiveness of this response strategy. The number of confirmed cases has been on the rise since 6th March 2020 when Cameroon registered its first case. It has been observed that most of the problems associated with curbing person to person transmission have to do with behaviors, related issues, especially cultural stereotypes (WHO, 2020). The problem is that Cameroonians have cultural behaviors that may not be compatible with the current national response strategy. Consequently, the objective of this paper is to investigate and identify the gaps that exist between these control measures churned out by the government and the Cameroonian cultural environment; with the view to suggest alternatives to intercultural communication approaches, which can be encouraged to fight the spread of COVID-19.
  • Topic: Health, Public Policy, Public Health, Pandemic, Community, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Egoh Aziz, Dr. Fuein Vera Kum
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The outbreak of COVID 19 in the Wuhan province of China has caused tremendous damages to human lives throughout the world while affecting the global economy due to the untold temporary lockdowns of businesses, companies, and the restriction of international travels across the globe. With high and mostly under-reported COVID-19-related fatalities in many countries as well as the added strain on healthcare services, the burden of this pandemic is easily palpable. The impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Cameroon continues to unfold and carries with it considerable human security risks. The United Nation’s Development Program considers seven main dimensions of human security through sustainable human development. These are economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community, and political security. The departure point of this article brings into focus the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic on health and food security. Based on available data from reliable sources (such as the Ministry of Public Health, the Nkafu Policy Institute’s Coronavirus Task Force, FAO, IMF, World Bank, WHO, etc.), we analyze the impact of COVID 19 on the afore-mentioned aspects of human security and propose recommendations that can help mitigate the overarching consequences of the virus on health and food security in Cameroon.
  • Topic: Health, Food, Health Care Policy, Food Security, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Dr. Louis-Marie Kakdeu, Ulrich D’POLA KAMDEM
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: On 6 March 2020, the first positive case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) was recorded in Cameroon. Towards the end of April 2020, the country has more than 1000 positive cases with eight (8) out of the country’s ten (10) regions affected. To block the spread of the Coronavirus in Cameroon, government’s authorities took a series of thirteen (13) measures on 17 March 2020. At the level of business enterprises, the objective of the actions taken to counter the virus was two-fold: to implement the government’s recommendations and, especially, to ensure continuity of work. For example, the use of telework has been adopted in some companies. However, while the government’s measures and those relating to telework have been widely followed in both the public and the formal private sectors, they have, nevertheless, been a real headache for the informal sector. Indeed, the informal sector in Cameroon is characterised by precarious activities, with little or no supervision, which are not covered by the National Accounting. This sector employs 90% of the active population and accounts for more than 50% of the country’s GDP according to the International Labour Organization – ILO (2017). Consequently, because of its weight in the Cameroonian economy, this article analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the informal sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Public Sector, Private Sector, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Egoh Aziz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has caused waves of horror and anxiety across many nations in the world. Considering the intense unravelling of the pandemic, no exact figure as per the number of confirmed and death cases worldwide is definite because the situation changes almost every hour. However, on April 14, 2020 3:40 GMT, Worldometer reported 210 countries and territories across the globe having a total of 1,925,179 confirmed cases, and a dead toll of 119,699 deaths. The impact of the pandemic is disastrous globally affecting a variety of sectors including the service and supply chain, as well as trade, manufacturing, and tourism. This article aims to provide a synoptic assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on Sino-African trade activities. It stresses that, if African policymakers revamp their efforts to quickly address COVID-19, the human casualty will be less and African economic growth may experience lesser shock as previewed by the IMF. On the other hand, if they relent their efforts, the human casualty will soar while the growth rate may decline. The effect of COVID-19’s outbreak in China has caused a slowdown on exports and services directed towards China.According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China, in 2018, China’s total import and export volume with Africa was US$204.19 billion, a yearly increase of 19.7%, surpassing the total growth rate of foreign trade in the same period by 7.1 percentage points. Among these, China’s exports to Africa were US$104.91 billion, up 10.8% and China’s imports from Africa were US$99.28 billion, up 30.8%; the surplus was US$5.63 billion, down 70.0% every year. The growth rate of Sino African trade was the highest in the world in 2018. This shows that Sino-African trade has a significant contribution to the growth of African economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Trade, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Cameroon
  • Author: Ronald Gobina
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Wearing face masks are an essential aspect of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Although medical face masks are reportedly in very short supply in many countries especially low-income countries, cloth face masks seem to be gaining ground in terms of popularity and usage. In Cameroon, where the government has mandated wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with hefty fines for violators, cloth face masks are becoming more and more ubiquitous. They are a natural choice for community face mask users due to the ease of access (relatively low cost of production, accessibility of materials), potential reusability, and esthetic variability. The usefulness of cloth face masks to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, however, has been subject to a lot of debate. The scientific community is torn between outright restriction of use because of a lack of evidence supporting protective ability and the ethical dilemma of appearing to prefer a ‘no face masks’ policy (where medical masks are unavailable).
  • Topic: Health, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon