This issue of Feminist Africa reflects on both the impact of COVID-19 on African women and African women’s responses to the pandemic. As a continent, Africa has endured decades of economic, political and social crises. Since the colonial period, the continent has been a primary commodity producer, supplying the world with both mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, coltan, manganese as well as bauxite and agricultural exports such as coffee, tea and cocoa.
The prices of primary commodities are very volatile (Ocran and Biekpe, 2007) leading to cyclical economic crises on the continent. Since the 1980s as well, the neoliberal project undertaken on the continent with instructions from the international financial institutions has led to state withdrawal from the market and privatisation of social services such as education and health.