Responding To The Covid-19 Pandemic: Did Africa Act In The Interest Of Africans?
Although the world has become more interconnected today than it probably has ever been; what has not changed in the phase of this global interconnectivity and interdependency is the art of protection of national and sectional interests of actors in global politics.
The understanding of this ‘interest’ and how it should be protected are essential in positioning oneself to become relevant in this competitive world and Africa is no exception.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese City of Wuhan first reported novel Coronavirus infections which eventually became the ‘almighty Covid-19’ which has affected almost every single person on the face of the earth.
This infection which has been declared a global pandemic has become an important global policy issue and it is against this background that the African Continental Unity Party (ACUP), as a stakeholder of the African people’s interests is keen on examining how Africa as a continent has so far responded to the Coronavirus Pandemic and how the response has affected Africa’s geopolitical position and the lives of the masses of the African people.
First of all, it is important to point out that the ACUP do acknowledge highly that Africa’s records regarding infections and cases of casualties from the Covid-19 so far have been surprising to the world.
From the initial commentaries on the Covid-19 pandemic, many experts, high-profiled personalities, as well as international institutions did predict doom for the African people of how our society is extremely going to be affected by the pandemic.
These predictions, in most instances, were based on the fact that Africa is less prepared to face a circumstance of this kind, vis-a-vis our continent’s weak medical systems which have not been a major concern of political office holders and managers of our economy.
However, the available statistics and evidence signal a relatively positive standing for Africa so far. With obvious weak medical systems and minimal preparedness, this positive signal gives the indication that the African society, if things are rightfully placed in order, may have inherent advantages to sustain societal shocks.
Nonetheless, the significance of institutional and leadership responses to every national or global emergency in most cases outweigh any inherent capabilities of self-sustaining. Hence the need to examine Africa’s purposeful response to the Covid-19 pandemic so far.
At this juncture, it is important to point out that Africa is on record to be one of the continents to have lately recorded covid-19 case with the first case recorded on 14th February 2020 in Egypt according to a report by the World Health Organization(WHO).
By this, Africa had an opportunity to have acted swiftly to put restrictive measures in place to secure the welfare of the African people when the virus initially broke out. However, the entire continents left her borders opened and allowed everyone freely in, including travellers from areas or countries of high covid-19 cases.
Subsequently, Africa only reacted to institute some covid-19 safety protocols and restrictions after Europe and America had announced similar or such restrictions to protect its citizens.
Unfortunately, this reactionary response had come too late as the virus at this time had already entered and spread widely across the African continent.
One of the most suppressing things about Africa’s reactionary response to address the covid-19 pandemic is how many African countries; including Ghana and South Africa opened their air entry borders to international travellers while closing their land entry borders to Africans and neighbouring countries.
How did the inter-African movement become the agent of spreading the covid-19 while travelling from countries and communities where the virus either originated or having alarming cases becomes safer?
Clearly such actions by our African society project us as weak, self-hating, and as the tools that can be used to satisfy the interests of others against our own needs. If we cast our minds back a little bit, we can recall how Africa was treated when Ebola was reported in few West African countries: the rest of the world placed the entire continent of Africa and her children on a red alert; travelling to and from Africa became a nightmare to many Africans and people who have the need for mobility across Africa.
The African travellers were subjected to exceptional scrutiny and the African had to bear with it because the world had to protect its interest against the Ebola virus found in very few West African countries. Why it is that today, the African has to sacrifice her welfare to promote the interest of others who will never accommodate her when she finds herself in the same situation?
The African response to the covid-19 pandemic shows some interesting dynamics when it is examined from the angle of how African countries and institutions accepted or rejected treatments for the covid-19.
Before anyone could present any treatment to deal with the virus, Madagascar boldly presented a herbal mixture which the Madagascar authorities assured its safety and potency to treat the virus.
At the back of this development, the WHO quickly debunked this development from Madagascar and downplayed it, claiming that the Madagascar herbal mixture has not yet passed a clinical trial.
Instead of the African countries coming together in one voice to support the African founded herbal mixture, the majority of the African countries and their medical system sided with the WHO to push the Madagascar tonic into shelve.
The international media and some local media outlets since resorted a culture of making every single Covid-19 case in Madagascar a major headline to portray the African found mixture as ineffective.
One may ask, does the announcement of medical treatment automatically eliminate the disease entirely? How come Russia, America, and the UK have all developed covid-19 vaccines and still are having swollen number of Covid-19 cases and that isn’t making the headlines; the media isn’t calling their vaccines ineffective, and unlike how Africa responded unreceptive to Madagascar herbal mixture, nearly all African countries have become receptive to the various covid-19 vaccines and are spending billions of dollars to import them.
For instance, South Africa ordered the vaccine (Covaxin) from India, while India itself orders the vaccine from Russia, after few days the South African experts found that the Indian vaccine was ineffective or expired.
Maybe, we have to keep reminding ourselves that the world’s relationships are more about interests than anything else, if the UK, the US, and Russia, despite continually having increasing covid-19 cases are producing and marketing the vaccines to us to create economic capital for their industries, what prevents us from supporting the Madagascar herbal mixture?
One may be tricked into falling for the WHO’s petty excuse; the Madagascar herbal mixture has not passed clinical trials and hence, cannot be recommended for use. In principle, the WHO may have a case; however, as Africans what we logically have to ask ourselves is whose clinical trials?
How can we be convinced that an African natural herbal tonic needs to pass a European clinical and laboratory test before it becomes safe for use by the Africans? Has the time not come for us to be realistic?
Does anyone subject his or her natural food taken from the garden or the farm to a clinical or laboratory trial to which processed or canned food is subjected?
The obvious answer is NO! And it is equally unjustified to say that because the African herbal mixture has not passed the European clinical test, it is unfit for use. It is important to recognize that the African game is subjected to Africa’s own rules and standards.
As a political organization with the ultimate goal of establishing an African Global Power-base to rebuild the broken African community, and to protect the African interest, the African Continental Unity Party calls on all African nations, our leaders, and authorized institutions and agencies to consider the African interest as the central pillar in all decisions and actions taking in every part of the continent.
The time has come for the African to live to protect her interest and fulfil her dreams and this time is now.
Credit: African Continental Unity Party (ACUP) http://www.africanacup.org/
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