This note summarises and reflects on the different roles played by the African Union and a sample of the continent’s regional organisations in shaping collective, coordinated regional responses. It finds that the AU has played an effective role in communicating about and shaping African responses, with technical legitimacy provided through the Africa CDC. The AU has also been able to inspire collective action in a unified call for international solidarity.
As the coronavirus pandemic puts an accent on the geopolitical dynamics among powerful states, China has stepped up its support to Africa’s fight against the virus – arguably not only out of magnanimity. Although China’s assistance is very welcome on the continent at the moment, more is on its way to test China-Africa relations, such as negotiations on debt relief.
This paper stresses the importance of filling the development financing gaps that have been widened by shrinking remittances and suggests adaptations and increases in official development assistance (ODA) as an immediate solution to cushion some of the short-run effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, the paper highlights the short- and medium-term measures that policymakers and development partners in both sending and receiving countries should take to lessen the decline in remittance flows.
COVID-19 can be a turning point towards building more resilient and sustainable societies. At this moment, global and national economies have come to an abrupt standstill. Suddenly, economic growth is not sacred anymore. To protect the weakest members of our societies, we are willing to make enormous sacrifices. Reconciling other values with economic growth is also needed if we want to meet the sustainable development goals on achieving zero hunger and greater environmental sustainability.
Over the past few weeks, the EU has been mobilising its full firepower – including health coordination, economic measures and market regulation – to address the COVID-19 crisis within its borders. Yet, in facing a global pandemic that knows no borders, it is in Europe’s interest to mount an effective global response at scale.
With the global economy going into a steep recession, developing countries are facing considerable financing shortfalls. Confronted with its most severe crisis since WWII, Europe needs to adopt a global perspective, as it cannot successfully address it in isolation. There is a moral imperative to help vulnerable people in distress and foster global solidarity to prevent catastrophic outcomes.
Twenty-twenty should have been the year of a fundamentally new Africa-Europe partnership, culminating in the sixth EU-AU summit in October in Brussels. Ursula von der Leyen, with a delegation of some 20 European commissioners in her wake, recently traveled to Addis Ababa for meetings with their African Union counterparts.
The crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed existing migration debates in Europe, yet is inextricably linked with mobility and movement and its governance within the EU and globally. The current situation reveals the complexities of migration debates, pushing aside current, unearthing old and raising new questions.
European public opinion seems to react quickly to perceived crises of the day, but past opinion polls show that support to international cooperation remains stable even in times of crises. Will this change in the face of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, which has raised questions of the effectiveness of our global governance?
Most of Europe is in lockdown, trying to cope with the huge implications of the battle against the novel coronavirus. Africans are following what is happening on the other side of the Mediterranean with relief that Africa is not currently the epicentre of the crisis, but also with a troubled gaze.