The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) based in Banjul, The Gambia wishes to join its partners in Africa and beyond to express concern over the ongoing pandemic of the Coronavirus also known as COVID19 and commends regional human rights organizations or networks, regional economic block of ECOWAS, amongst others, for diverse measures they are taking and continue to take to contribute towards the curtailing of the virus.
The African Centre also wishes to commend the Governments of affected states, particularly in Africa, of actions taken and continue to in order to curb the further spread of the virus. It also wishes to use the opportunity to encourage other States to beef up their state of preparedness in the event they have not done so as the virus is spreading at such an alarming rate in the continent.
At the national level, the African Centre wishes to applaud The Gambia government for pro-active measures it is taking under the circumstance (travel ban for public officials, setting up of a hotline -1025) to report suspected cases. The President is also expected to address the nation tonight on further measures considering the presence of the virus in Senegal with which The Gambia shares border. The African Centre looks forward, as the rest of the nation, with enthusiasm to the President’s address at this critical moment in which the world is struggling with the virus.
In addition to other measures, banning of large gatherings is one of the preventive measures being taken by States as it is a common method of spreading the virus. Cases have been registered in about 25 African countries.
The African Centre works very closely with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). The ACHPR has also postponed its 66th Ordinary Session which was scheduled to be held in Banjul, The Gambia from 22 April-12 May, 2020 as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. (www.achpr.org/pressrelease/detail?id=482).
Considering that majority of the participants to the African Centre’s bi-annual NGOs Forum and African Human Rights Book Fair are from Africa and participate in the ACHPR Session as well, the African Centre in consultation with partners has taken the decision to postpone the NGOs Forum until further notice. The event was scheduled to be held from 18-20 April, 2020 in Banjul, The Gambia.
The African Centre wishes to urge everyone to take personal hygiene seriously and abide by preventive measures put in place by state authorities. The fight against this pandemic is a collective responsibility and therefore concerted efforts must therefore be taken by both State and non-State actors.
The African Centre shall endeavor to keep partners informed of developments as and when it occurs.
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PRESS RELEASE ON THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE NGO FORUM AS A RESULT OF THE GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC