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  • 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: Jasmina Brankovic
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
  • Abstract: Following the African model of transitional justice presented in the African Union Transitional Justice Policy, this report identifies ways to conceptualise and integrate healing, particularly from psychological wounds, into holistic and contextualised transitional justice practice on the continent. The report draws on reflections from African practitioners engaging with transitional justice issues in The Gambia to share lessons learnt with civil society and other actors seeking to do similar work in the region and beyond. It presents ideas for designing and implementing locally guided, tailored and sustainable mental health and psychosocial support interventions that amplify local knowledge and practices, rather than dampening them with external expertise.
  • Topic: Health, Transitional Justice, Psychology, Mental Health
  • Political Geography: Africa, Gambia
  • Author: Harvey Galper, Reehana Raza
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: On March 13, Kenya reported its first case of COVID-19, and an additional 649 cases were reported in the following two months. As the pandemic spreads, Kenya’s policymakers are facing the first significant challenge to the country’s nascent intergovernmental system and will have to prioritize how to spend the country’s scarce resources amid existing fiscal constraints. Established in 2013, Kenya’s decentralized government structure gives the country’s 47 counties the primary responsibility of delivering health care services to their citizens. But historical and geographical factors have led to substantial variation across counties in both health care capacity and risk of contracting the coronavirus. To make critical decisions to control the pandemic, Kenya’s policymakers will need not only accurate data on the spread of the coronavirus but also county-specific data and analyses on health care capacity and population risk. With such county-level data, the national government can flatten the curve and better allocate the country’s limited resources in line with individual counties' circumstances.
  • Topic: Health, Population, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Mfundo Mandla Masuku, Primrose Thandekile Sabela, Nokukhanya Noqiniselo Jili
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN)
  • Abstract: This paper aims to provide a critical review of the proposed National Health Insurance Bill in South Africa with reference to the finance mechanisms and implications within the development context. This starts with a brief analysis of health coverage, looking at the international and local context and describes the development benefits of the NHI. The paper reviews the funding mechanisms with particular reference to the tax incidence of the different types of taxes that could be used to raise funds for the NHI. Fiscal policy implications of the proposed health care provision changes are also discussed, and the proposed NHI Fund evaluated, focusing on the impact on the achievement of a performance-based budgeting system. The paper concludes that the increase of income and consumption-based taxes could result in loss of welfare to society, as labour is discouraged from working and the poor are further disadvantaged through increases in taxes such as value- added tax.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Governance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Mark Wentling
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: It is my opinion that the interest of the United States is best served in most African countries by improving the basic welfare of their people. The effectiveness of U.S. aid in Africa can be enhanced by focusing on the least developed countries. Helping address basic human needs, notably in the areas of education and health, should be top priority, especially the education of girls. Increasing agricultural production to improve nutritional health also deserves greater attention. Assistance funding needs to be stable and independent of political and diplomatic considerations. The composition of U.S. overseas missions and cumbersome bureaucratic processes must be revised to permit the effective and timely implementation of this new strategy. These changes are necessary to raise hopes for a better future for millions of Africans and to strengthen the role of the U.S. in Africa.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Foreign Aid, Pandemic, Girls
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Yahya Abou Ly
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The empirical context of this research is in an environment where malnutrition is a real public health concern. The objective of this study was to identify the determinants of the nutritional state of children under the age of five years in Mauritania. Using data obtained from multiple indicators cluster surveys (MICS) in Mauritania in 2007 and 2015, we undertook fixed-effects clusters techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity. The empirical results demonstrate that the age and sex of a child, level of education of the mother, the standards of living of the household, the area of residence, the availability and use of health care services and access to drinking water are all important factors for the good health of children in Mauritania. These findings suggests improvements in nutritional health, for example, by education of girls until completion of secondary school; an improvement in the conditions of households that are headed by women and an expansion in the coverage rate of multi-purpose health centres.
  • Topic: Health, Food, Children, Food Security, Child Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mauritania
  • Author: Negou Kamga Vincent de Paul, Nda’chi Deffo Rodrigue
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Despite free basic vaccines administered by the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), there is still a fairly high death rate of children aged 0-5 worldwide due to vaccine-preventable diseases. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region due to low levels of vaccination. This study analyses the effect of birth order on the immunization status of children in Cameroon, considering the contribution of cultural, economic and community factors. To do this, it uses data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 1991, 1998, 2004 and 2011 produced by the National Institute of Statistics with the support of UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank and USAID. The EPI module was administered to 3,350, 2,317, 8,125 and 25,524 children under five in 1991, 1998, 2004 and 2011, respectively. The multinomial probit model makes it possible to find that birth order has a negative and highly significant effect on the full and timely immunization of children under five and the impact increases with birth order. Moreover, the impact of birth order increases after adjusting for cultural factors. This increase indicates that, beyond the effect of birth order, cultural factors are at the root of prejudices leading to the abandonment of children. Considering children under two years of age, and vaccines taken during the first four months, the corresponding birth order effect points to the benefits of routine immunization and response campaigns in promoting immunization of children under five.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Health Care Policy, Children
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Natasha Banks, M. Anis Salem
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cairo Review of Global Affairs
  • Institution: School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, American University in Cairo
  • Abstract: A roadmap for a sustainable future without wasteful subsidies and mismanagement.
  • Topic: Health, Food, Food Security, Sustainability, Human Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Jordan
  • 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
  • Author: Jean Arkedis, Jessica Creighton, Archon Fung, Stephen Kosack, Dan Levy, Courtney Tolmie
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We assess the impact of a transparency and accountability program designed to improve maternal and newborn health (MNH) outcomes in Indonesia and Tanzania. Co-designed with local partner organizations to be community-led and non-prescriptive, the program sought to encourage community participation to address local barriers in access to high quality care for pregnant women and infants. We evaluate the impact of this program through randomized controlled trials (RCTs), involving 100 treatment and 100 control communities in each country. We find that on average, this program did not have a statistically significant impact on the use or content of maternal and newborn health services, nor the sense of civic efficacy or civic participation among recent mothers in the communities who were offered it. These findings hold in both countries and in a set of prespecified subgroups. To identify reasons for the lack of impacts, we use a mixed-method approach combining interviews, observations, surveys, focus groups, and ethnographic studies that together provide an in-depth assessment of the complex causal paths linking participation in the program to improvements in MNH outcomes. Although participation in program meetings was substantial and sustained in most communities, and most attempted at least some of what they had planned, only a minority achieved tangible improvements and fewer still saw more than one such success. Our assessment is that the main explanation for the lack of impact is that few communities were able to traverse the complex causal paths from planning actions to accomplishing tangible improvements in their access to quality health care.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Children, Randomized Controlled Trials
  • Political Geography: Africa, Indonesia, Tanzania, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Albert Trithart
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Following decades of war, economic decline, and underinvestment, Sudan’s healthcare system entered a new phase of crisis in 2019 as peaceful protests led to the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir. Among those leading these protests were doctors and other medical personnel fed up with poor working conditions and medicine shortages. This speaks to the degraded state of healthcare in the country, particularly in the conflict-affected regions of Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. This paper looks at the humanitarian response to health-related needs in these conflict-affected parts of Sudan. After providing an overview of the state of Sudan’s healthcare system, it explores the main trends and challenges in the humanitarian health response, including the difficult partnerships between international and Sudanese health actors, restricted humanitarian access, and the effort to shift toward more sustainable approaches. It concludes that the humanitarian health response in Sudan is stuck: most agree on the need to move beyond short-term approaches, but the national capacity and development funding needed to make this transition are missing. At the same time, with newly accessible areas exposing unmet needs and conflict and displacement ongoing, a robust humanitarian response is still desperately needed. This situation calls for the UN, donors, and health NGOs to continue their efforts to respond to needs while strengthening the healthcare system, to coordinate humanitarian and development funding, and to advocate for maintaining and extending humanitarian access.
  • Topic: Health, Crisis Management, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Due to ongoing conflict and insecurity in northern Mali, 1.8 million people require humanitarian health assistance, and 2.5 million are considered food insecure. Given the level of need, Mali’s healthcare system is ill-equipped to respond, and humanitarian health actors play an important role filling the gaps. This issue brief maps the challenges these health actors face and assesses their response. It accompanies a policy paper published in 2018 entitled “Hard to Reach: Providing Healthcare in Armed Conflict,” as well as another case study on provision of healthcare in Nigeria. These papers aim to assist UN agencies, NGOs, member states, and donor agencies in providing and supporting the provision of adequate health services to conflict-affected populations. This issue brief concludes with recommendations for how health actors can improve delivery of health services in Mali: UN agencies, international NGOs, and donors should continue to focus on strengthening and supporting Mali’s community healthcare structures. Military, political, and humanitarian actors need to preserve the humanitarian space in Mali. Relevant UN agencies, local and international health NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should place greater emphasis on noncommunicable diseases, particularly mental health. Humanitarian health actors and donors, as well as development actors and global health actors, should improve coordination with each other on the health response. Humanitarian health actors should better ensure that they are accountable for the health services they provide, in particular to affected populations.
  • Topic: Health, United Nations, Peace, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The humanitarian situation in Nigeria’s northeast is deteriorating, with more than 5 million people in need of healthcare and over 800,000 out of the reach of humanitarian actors. Given this level of need and the poor state of the healthcare system in northeastern Nigeria, humanitarian and other nongovernmental health actors play an important role. This issue brief maps the challenges these health actors face and assesses their response. It accompanies a policy paper published in 2018 entitled “Hard to Reach: Providing Healthcare in Armed Conflict,” as well as another case study on provision of healthcare in Mali. These papers aim to assist UN agencies, NGOs, member states, and donor agencies in providing and supporting the provision of adequate health services to conflict-affected populations. This issue brief concludes with recommendations for how health actors can improve delivery of health services in northeastern Nigeria: Humanitarian health actors should improve coordination both with each other and with global health actors working in northeastern Nigeria. Relevant UN agencies, local and international health NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should scale up the response to under-prioritized health services. Humanitarian and development NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should focus efforts to implement the humanitarian-development nexus for health services on areas where it is relevant and feasible. Humanitarian health actors should improve their accountability for the health services they provide. Humanitarian donors need to ensure that counterterrorism clauses in their funding contracts are not overbroad and do not impede neutral, independent, and impartial aid.
  • Topic: Health, Humanitarian Aid, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This is a Training Manual to be used for building capacity in gender analysis and monitoring of district budgets. Development of this manual is part of a larger project titled ‘Building Capacity for Gender Responsive Budgeting in Uganda’ funded by the International Development Research Council (IDRC) and implemented by the Center for Budget and Economic Governance (CBEG) at ACODE. The project aims at building capacity in gender responsive budgeting of actors at national and local government levels. Implementation of the project will cover three districts of Soroti, Mukono and Mbarara and will put special emphasis on the agriculture and health sectors.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Gender Issues, Health, International Development, Capacity
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa