Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.
Ghana this week became the first African nation to begin rolling back some of the restrictions it had put in place to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, as President Nana Akufo-Addo voiced concern about the economic toll of extending the lockdown further. As several African leaders prepare to follow suit, they will be watching closely to see if Akufo-Addo’s gamble pays off.
Ghana only confirmed its first two COVID-19 infections in mid-March, but the number of cases rose quickly, spurring Akufo-Addo to impose a three-week lockdown at the end of March on his country’s two largest cities, Accra and Kumasi. Health officials have used that time to rapidly scale up their testing and contact tracing, including establishing a network of regional testing centers and deploying drones to transport test kits and samples.