Tag "COVID-19"

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Africa Politics

East African Federation Looks Set for Further Delay

The creation of an East African Federation (EAF) has been steadily progressing since the latest initiative began at the very end of the 20th century. The proposed ‘super-state’ has received rhetorical support from African leaders and would be an exciting development in sub-Saharan Africa. However, such progress has been repeatedly beset by setbacks and delays and looks certain to be delayed once again, with the 2023 target for confederation almost certain to be missed. Several underlying issues need to be resolved if the project is to avoid the complete collapse that befell previous attempts.

Europe Politics

Irregular Migration to Europe: How a New Pact is Shifting Old Routes

The EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum aims to address irregular migration through better management of external borders and stronger international partnerships. While certain aspects of the proposal create opportunities for a better cooperation, the current approach to stricter return policies is pushing asylum seekers towards riskier and less controlled migration routes to Europe, putting lives at risk and increasing criminal activities.

Africa Politics

Are COVID-19 Measures Being Used to Stifle Democracy in Africa?

The global pandemic presents a unique challenge to democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. Aside from making it more difficult and more expensive to carry out elections, there is an emerging worry that democratic activity will be suppressed in the name of ‘stopping the spread’. 

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Public Sector Reform: A Way Forward for Iraq?

The public sector in Iraq accounts for the majority of employment in the oil-rich country. Plummeting oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in economic crisis and an ever increasing budget deficit. Where there is crisis however, there is opportunity: will 2021 bring a much needed reform of the public sector in Iraq? 

Europe Politics

The Italian Recovery Plan: Health and Education

With a 9% fall in GDP and one of the highest Covid-19 death records in Europe, Italy has been one of the countries to have struggled the most in 2020. Now, more than 200bn euros are being offered to the country by the EU as part of an ambitious stimulus package. This represents a potentially unique occasion for the “Bel Paese” to reverse its crisis. The question being, is it actually possible?

Europe Politics

Recovery from Covid-19 in Eastern Partnership Countries Faces Political Hurdles

With the support of the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced in December a scaling up of its financial support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. However, potential for economic recovery from the pandemic in the region is undermined by EU marginalisation of issues in corruption and Russian subversion capabilities. It is unlikely that sustainable private-sector growth will be realised until the EBRD fiscal approach is complemented with a strategy to address these political challenges.

Covid-19 North America

Canada’s Second COVID Lockdown

The placing of Canada’s most populated region under stricter lockdown measures is likely to lengthen the road to economic recovery post-COVID.

Economics Europe

Britain’s Economic Outlook – Navigating Brexit

As news of the last-minute trade deal with the EU emerged, right-wing commentators in publications such as The Spectator embraced it with cautious optimism. Johnson’s administration will not be leaping into the dark, but the economic costs of the pandemic and Brexit, irrespective of the trade deal, will likely pave the way for a bleak decade. 

Covid-19 Latin America

Cry for me, Argentina: COVID-19 and Economic Woe

2020 cannot be described as a good year for Argentina. Already struggling with high inflation and a sovereign debt of over $300 billion, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic confronted the Argentine government with new financial drains and economic hurdles. Faced with this crisis, Argentina’s economy has undergone a severe contraction. Though Argentina’s economic situation is, along with that of many other countries affected by the pandemic, expected to rebound in 2021, indications are not positive for a long-term indication in the country’s economic situation.

Economics Middle East/North Africa

What is next for Turkey?

With the Turkish lira at a record depreciation amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic,Turkish leadership is struggling to deal with an economic impasse and a seismic foreign relations shift as a result of the US election.