China’s party-army model, whereby the army is subordinate to a single ruling party, is antithetical to the multiparty democratic systems with an apolitical military accountable to elected leaders adopted by most African countries.
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There is not a single African COVID-19 trajectory, but rather multiple, distinct risk profiles. These profiles highlight the differentiating role that a free press, government transparency, and conflict play in responding to the pandemic in Africa.
Despite important differences, colonial Africa’s experience confronting the Spanish flu a century ago provides historical lessons for the COVID-19 response today.
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.
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.
Crime and Contagion: The Impact of a Pandemic on Organized Crime, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime
As the pandemic spreads, organized crime has been adapting to changing illicit market drivers. In Africa, increased border restrictions have impacted human-smuggling routes in the Sahel and the price of heroin in East and Southern Africa. Cocaine shipments from Latin America to West Africa are suspected of having restarted. In South Africa and Kenya, scammers have been exploiting fears and misinformation for profit. Anticipating opportunities for organized crime, particularly where security vulnerabilities already exist, will require building community support and depriving criminal groups of their legitimacy.
The spread of the coronavirus in Africa has been accompanied by pervasive misinformation. Fact-checking and ongoing public service communications by all actors are needed to curb the costs of these myths.
Given its fragile public health systems and close ties to China, Africa is vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus, highlighting the continent’s centrality to global health security.
While João Lourenço has made headlines for high-profile corruption indictments against the dos Santos family patronage network, Angola’s authoritarian political system remains largely unchanged.
Russia is pursuing engagement with African states at an intensity not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union. Through diplomatic overtures, arms sales and security cooperation, and energy development, Russia seeks to reassert itself as an economic and military partner. While Russia has made progress in attaining these goals, it also faces weaknesses that limit its ability to wield influence on the continent. Russia sees Africa as key to its goal of a more multipolar world. An even-handed U.S. approach toward Russian engagement in Africa that exposes malign influence without inflating Russian capabilities is necessary.
A power struggle between former President José Mário Vaz and Guinea-Bissau’s ruling Party for the Independence for Guinea and Cape Verde plunged the country into a series of political and institutional crises following the dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira in August 2015. From the beginning ECOWAS took an active role in resolving the impasse, embarking on several rounds of mediation missions led by former and current regional heads of state, as well as a delegation of regional ministers. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the October 2016 Conakry Accord, a 10-point roadmap for resolution designed to foster political stability and cooperation among the country’s governing members. ECOWAS’s sustained engagement in Guinea-Bissau provides a blueprint for future political and institutional crises in the region.