The political economy of pandemic prevention and preparedness in Africa - Policy Brief 13


The huge costs of the COVID-19 crisis have revealed a global failure to learn lessons from previous health crises, and to invest sufficiently and consistently in the public goods of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. This health security agenda has been seriously neglected in sub-Saharan Africa, which is in a weak position to respond to the present crisis and future pandemics.

Based on research conducted for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa Programme (TDDAP), this Policy Brief suggests that the neglect of the health security agenda in sub-Saharan Africa is above all a political economy problem best understood in terms of the political incentives facing leaders, institutionalised power relations and the collective action problems shaping health security systems and international funding. The Policy Brief explores five political economy problems that are found to be particularly undermining of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, and develops recommendations for addressing each of these.