Although the Covid Pandemic did not have a huge impact in terms of health burden in Niger, response to it from the government and the public revealed the many fault-lines of Niger’s sociopolitical makeup, as well as some of the paths that decision-makers may take to design and implement reforms that may bring remedies to them. Faced with an unknown enemy with very little resources, the Nigerien government was both prudent and energetic in its response to it, which might have helped in reducing the impact of the pandemic. But the social measures taken to stem the damage wrought by restrictions showed the limits of a state that is more attuned to the country’s small modern-sector economy and middle-class than to the majority sectors and populations. And that should make for a ‘teachable moment’.

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