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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.
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.
Global warming is contributing to more and extended heat waves, a tripling of droughts, a quadrupling of storms, and a tenfold increase in flooding in Africa since the 1970s—exacerbating security threats on the continent.
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.
Stabilizing northern Mozambique will involve more than defeating violent extremists. It will also require rebuilding trust with marginalized and traumatized local communities.
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.
The surge in the Delta coronavirus variant in Africa is set to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths in the coming months absent a dramatic scaling up of preventative measures and COVID vaccine access.
The catastrophic levels of instability that have engulfed South Sudan since 2013 demand a restructuring of governance and security institutions to alter the tragic trajectory of Africa’s youngest state.
Most deaths in war are not the result of battlefield clashes, nor are fighters among the largest cohort of casualties. Rather, civilians suffer the most fatalities from conflict—a result of the damage to the infrastructure and livelihoods that provide food, water, shelter, and health care. UNDP estimates that for each death directly linked to the violence started by Boko Haram in 2009, nearly nine more have been killed due to lack of food and resources. This means that as of late 2020, the conflict has led to an estimated 350,000 fatalities and 1.8 million children unable to attend school. While northeastern Nigeria was unlikely to have achieved any SDGs even in the absence of conflict, the violence has halted progress and set back human and economic development in the region for decades.
The surge in COVID-19 cases in India, spurred by a more transmissible variant and complacency, provides a stark warning to African populations to remain vigilant to contain the pandemic.
A preponderance of COVID vaccine myths is causing many Africans to forego vaccinations at a time when new, more transmissible coronavirus variants are spreading across the continent.