Assessing Africa’s responses to COVID-19: challenges and prospects

May 21, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic, while primarily a public health matter, has brought about a number of concerns related to its economic, social and political impact. The deadly virus is increasingly imposing itself as a threat to international peace and security, and the stability of countries, especially those experiencing ongoing conflict and other crises. While it is already struggling to silence the guns, improve stability and good governance and strengthen its medical systems, Africa has not been spared from the catastrophic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, the most unstable and vulnerable parts of the continent risk seeing an exacerbation of their existing challenges, which might in turn imperil responses to COVID-19 in these zones. Although the United Nations has called for a global cease-fire, violent conflict and extremism continue unabated, worsening the humanitarian situation in certain areas of the continent. This has placed some of Africa’s vulnerable people such as refugees and internally displaced persons as well as those depending on food programs in greater danger.

Sara Hasnaa Mokaddem
Manager - Strategic Monitoring & Analysis Unit
Sara Mokaddem is the Manager of the Strategic Monitoring & Analysis Unit at the Policy Center for the New South. Prior to that, she has worked as a research analyst in charge of specific due-diligence reporting and risk analysis on private placements for a London-based investment fund focused on the mining and energy sectors. She has also worked with firms and individuals on attaining FCA authorization and regulation in the United Kingdom. Her previous professional experience includes a position as a visiting researcher at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in 2011 and 2012 where she has produced research on the post-revolutionary situation in Tunisia and Libya and on the security of the Sahel. Having written modules on corporate forensics and on employee protectio ...
Andrews Atta-Asamoah
Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Security Studies
Dr Andrews Atta-Asamoah joined the ISS in February 2019 as a Senior Research Fellow working on the African Peace and Security Dialogue Project in the ISS Addis Ababa office. Before taking up this position, he spent three years as a member of the UN’s Panel of Experts on South Sudan. Andy worked previously as an ISS senior researcher, and at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. He has a PhD in political studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and a Masters in international affairs from the University of Ghana. ...
Mohammed Loulichki
Senior Fellow
Mohammed Loulichki is a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South and an Affiliate Professor at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. He brings over 40 years of comprehensive experience in diplomacy, conflict resolution, and human rights. He has served in various roles including as a member and Deputy Head of the Moroccan delegation to the 3rd Conference on the Law of the Sea (1982-1990), Head of the Department of Legal Affairs and Treaties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1988-1991), and General Director for Multilateral Affairs in the same ministry (2003-2006).   He also acted as Morocco's Ambassador to Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia (1995-1999), and was the Moroccan Government's Ambassador Coordinator with MINURSO (1999-2001). Furthermore, he served ...
Paul Simon Handy
Senior Advisor, Institute for Security Studies
Dr Paul-Simon Handy is a Senior Advisor to the ISS Regional Offices in Dakar and Addis Ababa. He first joined the ISS in 2007 and held various research and management positions, including division head, research director and acting deputy executive director. Between 2013 and 2018 he was on the UN Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic before rejoining the ISS in 2019. Paul-Simon is a visiting lecturer at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. He held teaching positions at the Freie University of Berlin before acting as Associate Fellow with the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. Paul-Simon studied political science and international relations at the universities of Yaounde, Berlin and Leipzig where he obtained his PhD in 2005 ...
El Mostafa Rezrazi
Senior Fellow
Dr El Mostafa Rezrazi is a professor of Crisis Management, and Security Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South who focuses on Terrorism, Security and East Asia studies. His area of Expertise covers Afro-Asian Affairs, Strategic & Security Studies, Terrorism, Extremism and Deradicalization, mainly from the view of Criminal; Legal and Forensic Psychology.  He got his Ph.D. in Regional & International Affairs from the University of Tokyo in 1998, and later a Doctorate from the University of Mohammed V on the Psychological dynamisms of Suicide Bombers (2014). He is the executive director of the Moroccan Observatory on Extremism and Violence, Director of the African Center for Asian Studies, Rabat. Currently, he is Visiting Professor at the Univ ...