Wednesday, 05.08.2020 - Dakar – SENEGAL (Video conferencing)

PSCC Talk: "Human security in West Africa tested by Covid 19"

As part of its virtual conferences called PSCC Talk, the FES PSCC office organised a webinar on the theme "Human Security in West Africa in the face of Covid 19". The panellists of this online meeting were Professor Mame Penda BA, Coordinator of the "100K students against COVID-19" programme, Director of the the Laboratory of Analyse of Societies and Powers / Africa – Diasporas at Gaston Berger University in Saint- Louis, Senegal (UGB LASPAD), and Dr. Ludovic Ouhonyioué KIBORA, Research Master in Anthropology, Director of the Institute of Social Sciences (INSS/CNRST) of BURKINA FASO.

The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/290, states that "the purpose of human security is to assist Member States in identifying and addressing common and widespread problems that affect the survival, livelihood and dignity of their populations", and "calls for people-centred, comprehensive, context-sensitive and prevention-oriented responses that enhance protection and individual and collective empowerment".

From the outset, Prof. BA stressed that Covid 19 is undoubtedly a human security issue. She added that human security is not a matter for the state alone. Citizens are equally concerned because it is a collective responsibility in its multi-actor dimension. COVID 19 has shaken the global system at all levels. It has highlighted in West Africa the shortcomings in the health sector, finance, education, human rights (reinforcing gender-based violence) ... Prof. BA has rightly noted that many essential points in terms of human security even before COVID 19 had not been considered.

Dr. KIBORA spoke about the link between human security and security (of territories) in the face of this pandemic. Indeed, the borders were closed in order to protect the populations from the spread of this disease. He recalled that human security is part of a holistic vision that puts the individual at the heart of concerns. However, COVID 19 has slowed down the development and evolution of the West African region and Africa as a whole. It has increased the social divide, inter-community conflicts and economic inequalities in particular. COVID 19 is also a public health problem, and it should be noted that in West Africa we did not really always have a public health policy.

The exchanges were extremely rich and fruitful thanks also to the interventions of the participants consisting of experts on security issues, academics, researchers, members of civil society organisations, security authorities ...

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