Nigeria on 27 February 2020 became the first Sub-Saharan African country to record the coronavirus. Today, all the 15 ECOWAS Member States have now recorded over 30,000 cumulative cases of COVID-19, several deaths, and an encouraging number of recoveries. Nonetheless, the confirmed cases continue to rise rapidly across the region with potentially devasting public health challenges, underscoring earlier observation by ECOWAS that the region is a high-risk for COVID-19. The outbreak of COVID-19, however, represents more than a public health crisis. Its impact is crosscutting, disrupting a host of important aspects of the West African society including social networks and livelihoods, operations of civil society, regional (and internal) trade and free movements of people and goods, just to mention a few. The pandemic’s impact on our very own civil society space cannot be overemphasized.
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