The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF), says the coronavirus pandemic has shown how the continent has failed over the years when it comes to good governance.
GJF said this during the first edition of its programme, “Policy Dialogue Series”, which held during the weekend.
Speaking in a communique issued on Monday, the Foundation said the dialogue tagged: “COVID-19, Peace and Security in Africa: Impact, Risk and Mitigation”, was aimed at assessing the effect of the novel disease on the continent.
It stated that it is unfortunate that the pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of Africa and is economy to emergency outbreak of diseases as the COVID-19 experience has shown.
GJF also faulted the lack of strategic policies put in place by African leaders to combat spread of the pandemic.
It said: “The COVID-19 pandemic exposes the vulnerability of many communities, placing citizens at a high risk of recruitment by extremist groups.
“There is tendency for African leaders in their attempt to end the cycle of infection of the virus to shift focus or be blind to the peace and security issues facing the continent.
“Shutting down tertiary institutions during this period of crisis is counterproductive to the growth and development of the continent as the pandemic presents an opportunity for African leaders to leverage on technology and ensure that learning continues.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the long history of failure of governance in the continent. Economic concerns are beginning to take priority over the health, peace and security of citizens.
“The current approach of city-wide lockdowns and movement restriction denies citizens access to their safe spaces and other forms of human rights, increase in reported cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the continent.
“The needs of women, the youth and other vulnerable groups are often neglected in emergency response situations as posed by the current pandemic.”