Is Africa on the brink of a health catastrophe or not?
There is an alarmist discourse about the fate of Africa in the wave of pandemics sweeping the world. To listen carefully to the information that comes from Africa (not exhaustive), two questions come to mind.
A mainly health crisis?
What if it was the food issue that was a major part of the current situation? Who goes beyond the purely sanitary dimension? Both by the difficulties of reconciling containment on the one hand, production and distribution of food products on the other? But also because of the invasion of locusts that threatens East Africa? Are we not in a « crisis competition »: food, security, health? And can the health crisis have the same weight in Africa as in Europe and the United States?
I relay a line from Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, executive secretary of NEPAD: « You can’t confine poverty”. In other words, African leaders must find policies that are appropriate for their societies, with their strengths and weaknesses.
It is also the shocking phrase of the Ivorian writer Gauz « The coronavirus has no more old people to kill on this continent« . The writer advocates an approach specific to African societies. « Without fine proposals, you cannot confine a population that has no more than two reserve meals, » he says. And he is ironic about the leaders of his continent, and even renowned intellectuals, who take up the recipes of the North without thinking. Moreover, the policies followed in Europe and the United States can be taken as an example? ? ?
Watch Gauz’s interview in Jeune Afrique– ==> HERE
In essence, do we know how to take into account the adaptive capacities of African societies, from the North to the South of the Continent?
The capacities of resistance, invention, social and technical innovation, creativity are at work at present. Aren’t they underestimated in the image that is projected on Africa?
Can the Continent be reduced to the situation of the pandemic as it develops in the North, projected identically on the situation of health systems in the South? At this time, the Continent is facing a human hecatomb. But is that the way to reason?
Aren’t there elements of the painting that escape this mere projection?
This text is the translation of : Covid-19 – Confinement et Précarité au Sud (suite 3)