“COVID-19 is not just an epidemic, but a highly complex emergency”.
The implications of the coronavirus pandemic are still unclear. But the looming global recession and direct impact of containment measures on livelihoods make this an unprecedented crisis for Africa. Furthermore, the U.S., once an important ally in times of health crises, has turned its back on the continent, especially after President Trump’s “reckless” decision to terminate funding for the World Health Organization. Worst-hit countries are now faced with the prospect of major food shortages, political fragility, and major economic dislocation.
Alex de Waal, an expert on the continent who has written extensively on the effects of pandemics on political power, joins Alan this week to discuss the international system’s ability to respond to the new crisis in Africa and the value of community-led strategies to help blunt the impact.
Articles on COVID-19:
New Pathogen, Old Politics (Boston Review)
COVID-19 in Africa: “Know your Epidemic, Act on its Politics." (African Arguments)Governance Implications of Epidemic Disease in Africa: Updating the Agenda for COVID-19
Books discussed: AIDS and Power: Why there is no Political Crisis - Yet
The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa
Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine
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