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Unity Is Strength: Covid-19 and Regionalism in Africa


In addition to the strategies of individual countries, a regional approach has been adopted in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, which has largely helped to mitigate its effects. Under the auspices of the African Union, the Africa Centres for Disease Control has taken the lead in responding to the pandemic on the continent. In West Africa, the Economic Community of West African States has supported member states with funding to purchase test kits, while the West Africa Health Organisation provides daily reports on infections, recoveries and deaths. Differences in the capacity of African states to address the pandemic and its economic implications could pose long-term challenges in containing the spread of the virus as well as ensuring economic recovery. The porous borders between many countries in Africa present additional challenges and opportunities for a regional response to Covid-19. For the future, there is the need to build more regional health infrastructures that can help the continent manage new epidemic outbreaks.
Keywords: regionalism; Covid-19; Africa; Africa Centres for Disease Control; regional economic communities