This Perspective assesses the effects and implications of COVID-19 on strategic competition in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors provide a brief overview of COVID-19 on the continent and discuss Chinese and Russian efforts to benefit from the pandemic. They offer recommendations for how the United States can expand beyond a competition lens and help African countries respond to the pandemic in ways that are mutually beneficial to all parties—including, in some cases, China. Sub-Saharan Africa is of growing importance on the world stage. This trend will only accelerate in the coming years and decades, requiring broader and deeper—and more-strategic—U.S. engagement on the continent.
Shurkin, Michael, Alexander Noyes, and Mary Kate Adgie, The COVID-19 Pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Opportunity to Rethink Strategic Competition on the Continent. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2021. https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PEA1055-1.html.
Shurkin, Michael, Alexander Noyes, and Mary Kate Adgie, The COVID-19 Pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Opportunity to Rethink Strategic Competition on the Continent, RAND Corporation, PE-A1055-1, July 2021. As of December 7, 2023: https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PEA1055-1.html