COVID-19: Is Africa Ready for Yet Another Standoff with the Epidemic?
The Roscongress Foundation presented its own study ‘African Socio-political Context in the Midst of the Pandemic: Further Stabilization or a Powder Keg Effect?’ The analytic material covers the impact of the pandemic on the African continent and reflects key problems that African countries face as well as socio-political and economic consequences of COVID-19.
The study reviews in detail how the active spread of coronavirus is changing the contours of the African socio-political structure. Thus, the authors note that the restrictive measures related to the spread of COVID-19 in the African states call for mixed reactions from the citizens. There are issues of food safety and anti-Chinese and anti-Western sentiment is on the rise, while in some cases, the struggle against coronavirus is becoming political in nature.
The study pays much attention to the practices of state management during the epidemic and the measures of state support for business in order to mitigate the negative impact of the spread of the pandemic.
Alexandra Ogneva, Deputy CEO and Head of International and Regional Cooperation Directorate of the Roscongress Foundation, noted in making the presentation that despite the fragile healthcare systems, existing burden of disease, overpopulation in the cities, conflicts, as well as record levels of population migration, the African governments and societies often demonstrate a notable level of response, cooperation, and adaptation to the pandemic. Ever since the virus has crossed into the continent, regular bilateral and multilateral consultations among executive agencies of the African states have been focused on rethinking the multifaceted response procedures in the context of COVID-19.
According to Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, the major challenges facing practically all countries of the African continent right now require in-depth discussions and collaborative search for solutions. Taking into account the mutual interest of the parties and the efforts to expand and strengthen economic ties between Russia and the countries of Africa that were demonstrated at the first ever Russia-Africa Summit, we hope that further dialogue and sympathy with our African partners will be effective in this quite complicated context.
On the cusp of the annual consultation meeting between the ministers of foreign affairs from the African Union countries and the Russian Federation, Deputy Director of the Department of Africa at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador-at-Large and Head of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum Oleg Ozerov emphasized the importance of the Russian-African dialogue during the COVID-19 pandemic when the restoration efforts in business, culture and human contacts are scarce, yet very needed. “At the time when the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the world and the African continent, it is of utmost importance that Russia and African countries engage in a constructive conversation that addresses the consequences of the virus in the socio-economic field. Establishing the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum provides us with another channel of interaction with our African partners. We can use this opportunity to search for solutions across the entire range of aforementioned problems,” said Mr. Ozerov.
Current practices of Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, relevant international organizations (Commission of the African Union, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the UN World Food Programme), leading development institutions (McKinsey, KPMG, World Economic Forum, Brookings Institution), as well as of African information agencies were used in preparing the material.
You can read the complete text of the study at the ‘Anticrisis Plan. Global Best Practices’ portal that the Roscongress Foundation has created in response to current COVID-19-related challenges, as well as in the Analytics section of the Foundation Information and Analytical System at ROSCONGRESS.ORG