COVID-19 calls for a coordinated response across countries. This note summarises 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. At the regional level, responses reflect a spectrum of cooperation – rising from information sharing; to ‘nudging’ and guiding; to active coordination of state responses, to collective action.
Existing regional response capabilities partially reflect a problem-driven response to the past West African Ebola crisis. One can expect that the COVID-19 crisis will have a similar effect on regional health cooperation, yet its long term impact on African integration more broadly remains to be seen.
Read the note here