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Southern Africa Trust |

State and Future of CSOs in Southern Africa - Changing Landscape

Civil Society


The existential reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has become more than a brutal public health catastrophe. The pandemic started as a public health emergency of international concern but metamorphosed into a socioeconomic and security disaster. Before the pandemic, the world economy was already struggling, reeling from the impact of growing trade protectionism, trade disputes among major trading partners, falling commodity prices and economic uncertainties in Europe over the impact of the UK withdrawal from the European Union (SADC, 2020).

These challenges were already impacting on the global economy with reduced economic output. On the political front, the Economist Intelligence Unit observed that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the nature of governance currently in existence within the different democracies particularly as it relates to the relationship between governments and the people. In their annual report Democracy Index 2020, The Economist Intelligence Unit notes that it did not require a “pandemic to expose the ailing health of our democracies.”

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