Almost 60% of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, making the continent the world’s youngest (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2019). Africa’s youthful population is a tale of two perspectives – one seeing an enormous resource with almost unlimited potential (African Union Commission, 2006), the other a ticking time bomb if the continent fails to build the structures and economic resilience to support and engage this burgeoning population (African Development Bank, 2018).
In 2015, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) recommended that Lesotho undertake wide-ranging reforms of the Constitution, Parliament, the judiciary, and the public and security sectors (Post, 2017). These recommendations followed a 2014 coup attempt, then-Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s escape to South Africa, the assassination of army commander Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, and an SADC intervention.
Since assuming office in May 2015, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has taken several measures to curb corruption.
L’utilisation de la mesure d’audience par les médias est faible en Côte d’Ivoire. Selon une étude du Ministère de la Communication, de l’Économie Numérique et de la Poste (2017), la plupart des médias ivoiriens naviguent à vue sans une véritable connaissance et maîtrise du marché par des études d’audience et d’habitude de consommation des cibles.
Sierra Leone is making significant gains in school enrollment, but learning outcomes, literacy levels, and skills acquisition are among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the United Nations Development Programme ( 2019) , Sierra Leone's Human Development Index values place close to the bottom – 181 st of 189 countries. While gender parity in enrollment has nearly been reached at the primary and junior secondary school level, girl completion rates still lag behind considerably at the senior secondary school level (Government of Sierra Leone, 2019a).
Depuis 2015, le Burkina Faso fait face à des attaques terroristes dont le bilan s’élève à environ 2,000 personnes tuées, tant parmi les forces de défense et de sécurité que parmi les populations civiles. Selon International Crisis Group (2020a, b), depuis la première attaque revendiquée par un groupe jihadiste en octobre 2015, plus de 550 attaques ont été répertoriées. Environ 1 million de personnes sont déplacées à l’intérieur du pays; des écoles sont fermées dans les régions du Sahel et de l’Est; et des infrastructures publiques sont désertées ou détruites.
As COVID-19 reached the shores of Africa, many governments reacted by shutting down much of economic, social, and public life in order to slow the spread of the disease. On 15 March, with only three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, the government of Kenya closed all schools and imposed curfews, among other measures. On 7 July, with more than 8,000 confirmed cases, the government announced that primary and secondary schools would remain closed until 2021 and teaching would be moved to non-contact platforms (BBC, 2020; News24, 2020).
To try to ensure continuous teaching and learning while schools are shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education (MoE) through the Ghana Education Service (GES) has introduced virtual learning platforms. Televised (Ghana Learning TV) and online (icampus) programs, along with a radio reading program, are to provide students the opportunity to continue studying their core subjects – mathematics, English, science, and social studies – as well as selected electives (Graphic, 2020; Myjoyonline, 2020; News Ghana, 2020).
L’élection présidentielle approche en Côte d’Ivoire au moment où plusieurs leaders politiques ont des démêlés avec la justice. Avec certains leaders de l’opposition en exil ou emprisonnés, on risque fort de voir le microcosme politique continuer de se radicaliser dans les semaines et mois à venir. La libération de l’ex-Président Laurent Gbagbo et de son collaborateur Charles Blé Goudé, président du Congrès Panafricain des Jeunes Patriotes, suggèrent un renouveau dans la compétition politique.
Well into its third decade of democracy, South Africa entered 2020 with a limp. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and its shutdowns began making most things worse (Roux, 2020), the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, also known as the Zondo Commission, was investigating large-scale corruption in government and private companies (Southhall, 2019). Lack of popular trust in the Public Protector, whose reports have been frequently contested in court, reached epic proportions as Parliament began steps to have her removed from office (Gerber, 2020).
An estimated 1.59 billion students in 194 countries, or 91.3% of the world’s student population, have been affected by school closures as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic (UNESCO, 2020). That includes 297 million students across the African continent and 4.13 million in Zimbabwe. With support from the World Bank and others, countries are trying to keep education going through remote learning via radio, television, the Internet, and social media (Kuwonu, 2020; World Bank, 2020).
Although Mozambique’s civil war ended in 1992, violence flared again in 2013 when the opposition RENAMO party renewed its insurgency against the FRELIMO government. Both sides stand accused of war crimes in a conflict whose death toll analysts estimate at near 1 million (France24, 2019). A peace agreed in August 2019 remains tentative as a small number of RENAMO rebels have vowed not to lay down their weapons (Mail & Guardian, 2019).
Embora a guerra civil de Moçambique tenha terminado em 1992, a violência voltou a explodir em 2013, quando o partido da oposição, RENAMO, renovou sua insurgência contra o governo da FRELIMO. Ambos os lados são acusados de crimes de guerra em um conflito cujos analistas do número de mortos estimam em cerca de 1 milhão (France24, 2019). Uma paz acordada em Agosto de 2019 permanece provisória, pois um pequeno número de rebeldes da RENAMO prometeu não depor suas armas (Mail & Guardian, 2019).
La Guinée est classée parmi les pays les plus corrompus dans le monde, occupant la 130e place sur 180 pays de l’Indice de la Perception de la Corruption dans le secteur public de Transparency International (2019).
In a crisis, the ability to disseminate information rapidly and effectively can be a matter of life and death. During the COVID-19 pandemic, accurate, timely, and trusted information about the number of cases, ways to prevent infection, government curfew and lockdown orders, and reasons why they’re important can help reduce transmission, dispel rumors, prevent panic, limit the use of dangerous quack “treatments,” facilitate planning for a stay-at-home period, and improve compliance, ultimately reducing the impact of the virus.
Like many other countries, Ghana has been grappling with its share of fake news about COVID-19. On the one hand, rumors that the “foreign disease” targets only whites and the affluent heighten nonchalant attitudes toward fighting the disease. On the other hand, scaremongering, prescription of various local remedies, and false case counts create confusion and undermine public education efforts.
Like much of the rest of the world, Zimbabwe has confronted the COVID-19 pandemic with stay-at-home orders and advice to practice social distancing and frequent handwashing, hoping to prevent a wave of infections that would overwhelm the national health-care system.
In South Africa, “social grants” providing income support to poor households have a long history. More than 17 million citizens, almost one-third of the population, receive a cash transfer from the state each month (South African Social Security Agency, 2019). The largest social grant programs are the Child Support Grant (CSG), the Old Age Pension (OAP), and the Disability Grant. All target low-income households (Zembe-Mkabile, 2017).
“We’re all in this together” is a mantra of the COVID-19 crisis as leaders and activists argue for global and all-of-society responses to the pandemic (e.g. World Health Organization, 2020; African Union, 2020). At the same time, public fears have highlighted social fissures through acts of intolerance and violence against Chinese people, citizens of Asian descent in many countries, and even Africans in China (e.g. DW, 2020; Guy, 2020; Kandil, 2020; Al Jazeera, 2020).
Dans le but d’éviter une propagation exponentielle de la maladie à coronavirus sur le continent africain, la plupart des états ont mis en place différentes dispositions, y compris la fermeture des centres éducatifs (RepublicofTogo.com, 2020; Burns, 2020; Gamba, 2020). Au Togo comme dans d’autres pays, tous les établissements scolaires et universitaires, tous les centres de formation publics, privés, laïcs, et confessionnels sont fermés jusqu’à nouvel ordre (Portail Officiel de la République Togolaise, 2020; BBC News, 2020; van Fleet, 2020; Le Monde, 2020).
Every few years, since 2008, South Africa is rocked by xenophobic violence. Houses are burnt, shops are looted, and people are killed, injured, or forced out of their homes and communities. This violence usually erupts under the pretext that foreigners take opportunities from South Africans.
« L’accès à des soins de santé de qualité et leur disponibilité sur l’ensemble du territoire demeure des impératifs-clés pour améliorer [l’Indice de Développement Humain] de la Côte d’Ivoire. L’équité dans ce domaine est aussi un défi à relever », peut-on lire dans le Plan National de Développement 2016-2020 (Ministère du Plan et du Développement, 2016).
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented pressures on governments, economies, and families, posing what many observers consider the largest global peace-time challenge since the Great Depression a century ago (Goodman, 2020; Rogoff, 2020). In South Africa, the government moved swiftly after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was recorded on 5 March (Mkhize, 2020), turning away arrivals from countries considered high risk (Fabricius & du Plessis, 2020).
Zimbabwe has been on lockdown since March 30 to inhibit the spread of the new coronavirus,1 though the mining and manufacturing sectors have reopened under rules set by the World Health Organization and public health authorities (Mugabe, 2020). To help “vulnerable groups,” the government announced it had set aside $600 million for cash transfers to 1 million households and support to small businesses over the next three months (Kubatana.net, 2020).
In September 2019, a bill was tabled in Malawi Parliament proposing a constitutional change from a unitary to a federal system of government (Nyale, 2019). The bill was referred to the Legal Affairs Committee of the House for further scrutiny and is expected to be back on the floor for deliberation once the committee prepares its report.
In late March, the Ghanaian government locked down parts of the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and deployed security personnel to enforce the restrictions. In announcing the measures, President Nana Akufo-Addo said he was aware that many citizens operate in the informal sector, depend on their daily earnings to survive, and rely on essential services not readily available in their homes or compounds. He asked key stakeholders from the private, informal, and religious sectors to support implementation of the partial lockdown.
The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi (1995) stipulates that “every person shall have the right to assemble and demonstrate with others peacefully and unarmed.” In the aftermath of the 2019 general election, the country has been engulfed in a series of protest marches. Led by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) of civil society organizations, the protesters continue to demand the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) members on charges that they mismanaged the election (Chauluka, 2019).