The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a health challenge for anglophone countries of Central and West Africa, it is also a litmus test for the consolidation and sustainability of their democratic governance systems.
In that regard, respect for constitutionalism and rule of law during emergency contexts, adopted by governments to stop the spread of the virus, remains a priority.
It is within this context that International IDEA organized a webinar on ‘The Impact on the COVID-19 Pandemic on Constitutionalism and Rule of Law in Anglophone Countries of Central and West Africa’ on 28 May 2020. Key recommendations from the discussion included: (a) the urgent need to monitor closely and to advocate for the respect of constitutionalism and rule of law in emergency measures and regulations adopted by governments of the region to stop the spread of the pandemic; (b) the need to take advantage of this exceptional situation to rethink the social contract between citizens and states in these countries; and (c) the necessity to build capable developmental states that can respond to the basic needs of their citizens during the pandemic or similar emergency contexts.
2. Constitutional frameworks during emergencies and the risk of authoritarianism
3. A pandemic that has highlighted and exacerbated the vulnerabilities of the anglophone countries in Central and West Africa
4. Rebuilding the social contract
5. The programmatic response of International IDEA and its partners