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Covid-19 Webinar Series: Global Crisis, Global Risk and Global Consequences
Session 12: The impact of Covid-19 crisis on Africa
Since its emergence a few weeks ago, Covid-19 has already fundamentally changed the fabric of our society and impacted the global geopolitical landscape, but in what ways?
Covid-19 Crisis: Global Crisis, Global Risk and Global Consequences is a new webinar series that examines various possible and visible consequences of the current crisis including its strategic and economic implications, impact on global governance, on gender or the role of technology.
The webinar is free and conducted in English. The first webinar session will provide an overview of the strategic, global health security, crisis management, governance, economic and financial implications of this crisis.
Africa continues to be a global strategic crossroads. A young, dynamic population and fast-growing economies mark many of the continent's most successful countries, features that have made Africa a site of competition between the United States and China. But conflict in Central Africa and ungoverned spaces from the Sahel to Somalia remain security concerns. There are reasons for cautious optimism with regard to many African countries' response to COVID-19, with the current impact much less disastrous than initial predictions. But the disease and the steps taken to mitigate it will doubtlessly affect Africa and its partners for years to come.
African economies can scarcely afford the economic impact of reduced trade from global partners and many African's livelihoods are not amenable to the kinds of social distancing measures relied upon to slow the disease in Europe and other developed countries. COVID-19 may also compound governance and human rights challenges already faced in many African countries, as witnessed by the heavy-handed security response witnessed in some countries during the early stages of COVID-related lockdowns. Armed groups may also take advantage of security vacuums in some areas, fueling cycles of violence that have burdened the continent for too long.
This webinar episode will explore these events and their consequences, from the current state-of-play of public health in Africa to issues of human rights and governance to strategic implications regarding trade, debt relief and the potential security implications. We will welcome a distinguished panel of Africa experts in public health, human rights, governance and security.