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Habib Ayeb writes how the global pandemic is a direct result of the neoliberal model of production, which is based on the assumption of the superiority of human beings over nature. The consequences are tragically diverse – from the extinction of bees, one of the most important links in the ecological chain – to the emergence of deadly new viruses. Assessing the public health response to Covid-19 in Tunisia, Ayeb argues that we must seek an alternative to capitalism before the system attempts to relaunch the processes of accumulation.

David Seddon looks in detail at the reported impact of Covid-19 in North Africa. The region has currently experienced some of the largest numbers of reported cases and the greatest number of deaths on the continent. Seddon also asks how we can understand the response of international and national financial institutions to the outbreak on the continent.

Activists and researchers from across Africa speak about the impact of Covid-19 on their countries. Writing from Kenya, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Femi Aborisade, Heike Becker, Didier Kiendrebeogo, Gacheke Gachihi, Lena Anyuolo and Tafadzwa Choto look at how the crisis is taking shape – how governments are using the virus as a cover for wider repression, and the broader context of capitalism, climate change and popular struggles for radical change.

Ambreena Manji argues that we need a better understanding of home, labour and inequality in the pandemic and that feminist thought is central to a just future. Focusing on the Global South, she argues that women have borne the brunt of the violence directed towards the homes of working people.

Two reports from Kenya and Nigeria look at the impact of the pandemic in different areas of life on the continent. Nyambura Kamau writes how people have been advised to wash hands regularly with running water and soap but even the term ‘running water’ in Mathare - a collection of informal settlements in Nairobi - is a cruel mirage. While Lai Brown reports on the struggles of woman in Nigeria. For many women it is a case of a triple attack - there is the viral offensive in the streets, and hunger and domestic abuse inside homes.

Last week ROAPE and BIEA organised a webinar on the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa. Activists and researchers from around the continent discussed the impact of the measures taken against the coronavirus by the ruling classes. In this blogpost we introduce the full video recording of the meeting with all of the speakers, Tafadzwa Choto, Femi Aborisade, Gacheke Gachihi, Lena Anyuolo, Gyekye Tanoh and Heike Becker.