COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa: Impact, Responses, and Lessons from Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda   [open pdf - 543KB]

From the Document: "The outbreak of the novel coronavirus [2019] (COVID-19) has caused widespread disruption of lives the world over. In response, governments have elevated the pandemic to the level of national security and instituted measures to mitigate its spread and impact. In Africa, the spread of infections across the continent has pushed African governments to initiate extraordinary responses. These include mandatory quarantines, social distancing, border closures, travel restrictions, bans on social and religious gatherings, and curfews. While these measures have partially contributed to Africa's relatively low infection rate, they have adversely affected the socio-economic and political landscape of most states across the continent. According to the World Bank, as a result of the pandemic, economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 will decline from 2.4 percent, as initially projected, to between -2.1 percent and -5.1 percent. As a result, the region will likely experience its first recession in 25 years. Politically, preparations for scheduled elections in 2020 in several countries are under threat. Moreover, some African leaders are instrumentalizing COVID-19 to perpetuate their incumbency, including by shrinking the space for political participation and dissenting views. In light of the foregoing, this paper examines the impact of COVID-19 and response strategies in Africa with a specific focus on three countries--Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Rwanda."

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