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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
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May 25, 2020 Africa: Remote Learning with African Storybooks
Two years ago, when AfricaFocus first profiled the African Storybook project, it had available, for free reading and download, 903 storybooks in 136 different languages, including English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Hausa, Swahili, and a host of other languages spoken on the continent. This year, as Covid-19 confronts Africa as well as the world, the Johannesburg-based project has 1,373 unique storybooks with 6,085 translations in 193 languages. With a remotely connected production operation involving volunteer authors and artists around the continent, it is uniquely placed to provide continuity of resources to parents and teachers, though smartphone apps as well as through its website.
May 12, 2020 USA/Global: Contesting Health and Workers' Rights
The global Covid-19 pandemic has made clear that the right to health is not just an aspirational value. Suddenly, it’s a matter of desperate self-interest for everyone, except, perhaps, those insulated by enormous wealth. The same is true for the rights of workers in the United States and worldwide: their work and their consumer power are indispensable to a global economy facing recession. The current crisis thus presents an opportunity to expand the recognition and exercise of these pivotal rights, accelerating efforts that were already underway before the virus hit. But all too predictably, these efforts are running up against stubborn resistance from forces that benefit (or think they benefit) from the status quo.
April 27, 2020 Africa/Global: Pandemic Mobilization amid High Vulnerability
At a continental level as well as in almost all African countries, African institutions mobilized quickly in response to the pandemic. In most countries, the pandemic response so far has been encouraging in terms of buying time by flattening the curve, although implementation of lockdowns has been marred by human rights abuses by security forces and insufficient funding for support to those already economically vulnerable to loss of income. A minority of countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Cameroon, and Madagascar, seem to be emulating the denial and delay pattern previously followed by the United States and the United Kingdom.
April 13, 2020 Mozambique: Cumulative Shocks, Local and Global
As of April 10, Mozambique had registered only 20 cases of covid-19, and was carrying out an active program of screening, testing, and contact tracing for all entering the country. The success of containment was still fragile, however. In addition, 10 of the tests were traced to a worker at the multinational natural gas company Total in Cabo Delgado province, in the far northeast. In that same province, reminding us that the pandemic comes on the top of other urgent crises, jihadist insurgents are now expanding their offensive and extending their attacks inland.
April 2, 2020 Africa: Covid-19, New Africa-Specific Links
This AfricaFocus Bulletin is very short, with no long articles, but only a selection of new links that I think very useful and important to share widely. Many of you have shared previous Bulletins, and I hope that you will also share this (and/or the links you find most useful).
March 26, 2020 Africa/Global: Coronavirus Reflections and Updates
Like the climate crisis and economic inequality, the COVID-19 pandemic may not at first glance seem to be a “foreign policy” issue. But it powerfully points up the need to forge a global perspective – and global alliances – without delay. Progressives must lead the way, and the coronavirus is an immediate opportunity to change the way we think to always recognize domestic and global realities as intertwined. Both self-interest and moral values make this imperative.