Global leaders in their quest to fight COVID-19 have put in place different measures to ensure the safety of their Citizens. Africa in recent times has had questions asked of its precautions to fight the virus spread in all the 55 States.
South Africa, DRC, Rwanda and Tunisia to date are the only nations in Africa that have announced full-scale citizen lockdown. The fact that only 3 of 55 nations have taken these measures is truly sad and unacceptable. Based on this, leadership in the African Union (AU) is placed under considerable interrogation and severe pressure.
President Cyril Pamaphosa announced a 21-day national Lockdown for South Africa starting midnight 26th of March. It is also common knowledge that President of South Africa is also the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and has the responsibility to show the same leadership for the country at AU level to the other African states. Today there is no rhythm in Africa’s band as the players seem to be concerned about the sound of their instruments more than cohesion into producing a great song.
The opportunity for Africa, to defend itself against the mass spread of COVID-19 is imminent and now. Leaders will now be judged and remembered for what they did in the time knowing the cause and effect of this pandemic. Africa, from current statistics, lags behind the world-known infections if you compare it to Europe and Asia for example. No doubt, the time has come to take drastic measures to ensure that Africa keeps the spread of the COVID-19 to its bare minimum.
Africa has had the global picture well in advance and no person can deny that the worldwide channels of communication are not effective enough. On all street corners, social gatherings that still take place, the only topic today is COVID-19. The fact that this pandemic crosses all borders, religions, cultures and social classes and has no distinction between rich and poor, is a fact.
The challenges though in Africa is so obvious but needs to be brought up repetitively, but history has shown us it is sadly not done enough. Most African people on the continent are poor, have less access to basic sanitation and no doubt hygiene. The other problem and challenges facing us are that a huge number of Africans are uneducated and thus make the education process on fighting the spread of COVID 19 more difficult.
The huge movement of basic supplies to combat the COVID virus needs to be led by the AU. As of current actions, we also find a huge collective gap coming from an AU central COVID command structure, health updates led aggressively by the AU and indeed if there was such, the promotion, media and continued guidance would be poor if not indeed sad. Leaders must take a collective decision and must make these not to be popular but be secure and in defence of its people. More than one billion people on the continent are in need now of action not talk.
The fact that we have a central body for Africa called the AU, was surely created for such pandemics and the united approach to combat such. Simple daily stats on 55 countries spread and indeed actions to curb it, is needed. Gross public panic versus informing our people needs balance, but global trends like received from the US, Italy, etc are vital.
The question will remain today, apart from lack of a continental lockdown, are we settling supplies for states in Africa for example masks, gloves, and sanitizer stock. I know that we are maybe asking for a form of a federal central state approach, but there is no better method and time to Unite Africa than in this crisis. Africa LOCKDOWN NOW OR NEVER !!!