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Smirking Chimp - April 16, 2020

"The African Union must, more than ever, reinforce the scientific cooperation among its member states in order to insure our common health sovereignty."

It is certainly too soon to draw some lessons on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, since it continues to dramatically affect significant segments of the world population and still remains a puzzle—an enigma—for the world scientific community.

Still, based on certain observations, we can make some preliminary remarks for the African continent.

The phenomenon of globalization, described by its advocates as cast-in stone, a sui-generis universal construct, is quickly turning into a self-encapsulation of nations states left to their own devices. Unseen in the recent history of humanity, this house of cards is on the verge of collapsing on a global scale.

The quasi-universal closing of borders, the massive repatriation of expatriates to their countries of origin, and the stoppage of nearly all international airline transportation around the globe today severely undermines the myth of a unified global village. That myth, brought by the dynamics of globalization and the inevitable centralizing mechanisms of world production and development, led to seemingly unstoppable trends of geo-spatial markets and trade mobilities.

But the sad reality is that Covid-19 has revealed a dark side of this dialectic of globalization. Beyond the celebrated allure of robustness, integration, and interdependency of its constituent part, we discover that globalization is genuinely devoid of those essential virtues of solidarity and subsidiarity.

For more than a month, African countries have been obliged to remain confined withing their own borders. They have had to stoutly explore their own sustainable responses to this global sanitary crisis, a crisis unforeseen just three months ago.

African governments at different levels mobilized their resources and expertise, elaborate innovative strategies, and carry out bold and novel policies to contain the spread of the virus. In this fashion they have eviscerated the afro-pessimist naysayers, who predicted an upcoming African cataclysm.

The earlier apocalyptic forecast predicted for Africans during the first stages of the AIDS pandemic did not gain traction with the reality of health in the continent. A swift and efficiently well-coordinated partnership between African governments and the international community cogently prioritized the fight against AIDS/HIV, despite daunting numerous development challenges which were confronted on a daily basis.

The same efforts allow African governments to handle major health crises efficiently.

They significantly curtail maternal and child mortality rates, even though other pressing sanitary challenges remain to be dealt with.

It is important to acknowledge that when governments embark in solving pressing and major predicaments, successful management requires fostering a patriotic stance. Only in this way can one bring about successful development.

An emphasis on patriotism nurtures and reinforces a climate of collective citizenship, a trust and approval of the political initiatives set in motion by the nations’ respective governments: this fosters social and political stability.

This is the case of African countries which underwent through long-standing periods of sustainable economic evolution. Inclusive growth and equity in the continent began with concepts of nationhood. ...
Read full report at Smirking Chimp