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The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 upended migration patterns in sub-Saharan Africa. It exposed how out of sync public health policy is with the realities of migration and mobility on the continent. Border closures, which stemmed the early spread of the virus, stranded large numbers of migrants and shut down the supply of essential goods and services. This, in turn, added to the crisis affecting both human security and the broader pandemic response. To prepare for future health emergencies, policy must consider the realities of a region with porous borders, under-resourced healthcare and migration management systems, and limited safety nets for people.
2020 saw COVID-19 infect over 2.7 million Africans and kill over 65,000. A surge of cases in the last quarter of the year, combined with the emergence of more contagious mutations, pose new challenges for Africa in 2021.
Presidential task forces, staggered mobility, support for the most vulnerable, and local innovations mark Africa’s adaptive response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
With urban population densities and poverty rates among the world’s highest, innovative measures will be needed to prevent African cities from becoming hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic.
A selection of Africa Center analysis of the ongoing security challenges in the Sahel, current security responses, and priorities for establishing peace and stability.
African countries face varying levels of risk that will require adapting a diversified set of response strategies to the coronavirus. The most vulnerable countries may not be those with the earliest onset.
The coronavirus is placing severe strains on Africa’s health, economic, and security sectors. Mitigation and suppression efforts will require a comprehensive government response built on clear communications and public trust.
The spread of the coronavirus in Africa is intersecting with the continent’s population displacement crisis. Protecting displaced persons and migrants will be key to reducing the overall rates of transmission.
A growing trend of domestic political actors deploying targeted disinformation schemes requires expanded fact-checking capacity in Africa and collaboration with social media organizations.
African countries can negotiate a more equitable role in FOCAC, but this requires a more strategically focused approach, better coordination, and greater accountability to their citizens.
Tunisia is facing a constitutional crisis rooted in challenges to the separation of powers and the reach of executive authority. The outcome has implications not only for Tunisia but prospects for democracy across North Africa.
Africa is facing a major disparity in its COVID vaccine access relative to any other region in the world, amplifying the human costs that Africans bear from the Delta variant surge.