“The Virus Is Real:” African Traditional Leaders’ Responses to the Fight against Covid-19

  • Vincent Assanful University of Cape Coast
Keywords: Covid-19, Ghana, Virus, Traditional leaders


The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise. The world was not prepared, and world leaders were called upon by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to put in place measures to combat and contain the pandemic from spreading and causing havoc on their citizenry. One group of such leaders are the traditional leaders found in all parts of the African continent. This paper discusses the roles played by the traditional leaders in some African countries and how they partnered with national and international bodies to help in the fight against COVID-19. Using archival information, the paper discusses how the traditional leaders responded to the pandemic and the measures they deployed to help the states in Africa fight the pandemic. The advent of the pandemic in Africa changed the lives of the people and the leaders had to put in place measures such as the suspension of certain rituals that bring many people together in a bid to help curb the spread. The paper concludes that if the pandemic has been well managed in Africa and its spread reduced, the roles played by the traditional leaders on the continent cannot be overlooked.