News & Analysis: Civil society

‘We hope our cries will attract attention’

“For Hadiza Musa, 37, fending for her family each week was a struggle before the coronavirus. Since she lost her husband to an HIV-related illness in 2015, she has had to raise her three children in Nigeria’s city of Kaduna alone.”

via African Arguments

While Creating Fiscal Space for COVID-19 in Developing Countries, Be Sure to Consult Civil Society

“Examples of the importance of engaging citizens and local networks during epidemics abound. During the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak, local community leaders were important in disseminating timely preventative information. Today in Kenya, grassroots organizations have already emerged—including from the Kibera slum in Nairobi—setting up handwashing stations and combatting misinformation.”

via Center for Global Development

Everyday support in lockdown shows Cape Town is a city of many stories

“Amongst the accounts of hardship, hunger, crime and anxiety we are hearing moving stories of help and support. The tale of help amidst COVID-19 can fall prey to being portrayed as a single story: a story of charity. However, the stories of help we hear in the Lockdown Diaries, and those emerging elsewhere, are far more diverse. “

via Africa at LSE

CSOs Want Accountability for COVID-19 Resources (Liberia)

“Several civil society organizations (CSOs) in Liberia are calling on the government to make a timely report to the public of all resources galvanized and spent toward the COVID-19 fight in order to enhance accountability and transparency.”

via Daily Observer

COVID-19 in Africa: Going Beyond Lockdowns vs. Livelihoods

“This situation calls for deeper reflection and collective analysis to inform the responses of governments and civil society groups now and in the future. These discussions should push African governments to reform and recreate governance frameworks that work to minimise the multi-dimensional inequalities faced by citizens, and which make it so hard to respond effective to emergencies like COVID-19.”

via Democracy in Africa

COVID-19, religious institutions and the accommodation of science in Africa

“Public health emergencies in Africa highlight the interplay between religion and science… My research in Africa has shown that the relationship between science and religion is not one of conflict but of ‘accommodation’, a coexistence of knowledge systems.”

via Africa at LSE

Trusted and influential: Religious and traditional leaders can be assets in COVID-19 fight

“Results of an Afrobarometer survey conducted in late 2019 suggest that religious and traditional leaders could be an important asset in this effort. They enjoy greater popular trust and more contact with citizens than most other leaders. A broader consultation with traditional and religious leaders who have close interaction with the people they lead might be an effective way to court public cooperation.”

via Afrobarometer

Religions play a crucial role during Uganda’s lockdown

“In Uganda, where religion is deep-rooted, it can be difficult for government projects and programmes to succeed if messages differ from the wider religious beliefs of the major denominations. Because the situation created by COVID-19 has not been seen before, at least in the country’s recent history, the role of religious institutions to calm the fears of panicking Ugandans.”

via Africa at LSE

The pandemic is being used to erode democratic freedoms. Civil society must fight back.

“What has received less attention to date, but is equally as important, is the way that Covid-related restrictions are now being used to undermine democratic freedoms… In the midst of the pandemic, African opposition parties and civil society groups have little opportunity, tools or platforms with which to defend their hard-fought gains.”

via Mail & Guardian

Civil society can offer a third way to help deal with COVID-19 pandemic in Africa

“Faced with the huge challenge of fighting the coronavirus, Africa should rely more on the ingenuity and resilience of its civil society and show that, through technology, a third way is possible. Thirty-six leading figures leaders from tech, civil society, academia and politics call upon Africa to make a quantum leap in the health field.”

via New African Magazine