Africa might be the worse off post Covid-19 pandemic

Thursday, April 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Coronavirus scare. Photo/File

No one has an idea how long the crisis caused by the coronavirus will last. What is for sure, however, is that things will never be the same again globally - economically, socially, and politically.

Undoubtedly, the balance of geo-politics has shifted, with the developed world being turned into beggars.

It is really humbling when the power of countries we hitherto perceived as invincible becomes neutered. 

Those who had bragged of having a bigger finger on the nuclear bomb switch have been devastated by some microscopic virus running amok across the world.

All the war machinery is currently only of use as toys for the superpowers, fit only for war games. 

The humiliation being too hard for some to bear, they have engaged in a disinformation campaign that accuses China of creating the virus as a bio-weapon against the West.

 Concurrently, the propagators of this campaign are feeding Africans with talk that the relations between China and Africa have undergone irreparable damage.

Any negative incident involving Africans in China has been blown out of proportion for propaganda purposes.

If the vibes on social media about the recent incidents of alleged harassment of Africans in China’s Guangzhou city are anything to go by, we do really have a problem. 

Sadly, this theory is gaining credence among people who should actually be taking such stories with a pinch of salt.

Moreover, it is curious why Africa is not buying more ‘credible’ conspiracy theories that claim Big Pharma vaccine developers developed Covid-19 in order to make a killing, and control the world in the process. 

Very well! In that case, therefore, can we also believe the conspiracy theory that the American Invention for Discouraging Sex (AIDS) was a US conspiracy to depopulate developing countries, particularly in Africa?

In any case, we ignore credible footage showing how some influential figures in the world had foretold of such an eventuality years ago, with billionaire Bill Gates even predicting that the world is not prepared for the next pandemic. Shouldn’t we be taking them at their word? 

Why haven’t we taken seriously several other conspiracy theories, like the causes of cancer, which has been plaguing Africa in recent years?  

Africans would be deluded to think that they will have any increase in power, per se, in the aftermath of Covid-19.

In fact, to be cushioned against the thud, Africa will find that it will have to cooperate closely with China to survive coming years of social and economic devastation. 

This is due to the simple reason that the West’s bi-lateral and multilateral lenders, who we had thrown under the bus, anyway, will need massive resources themselves to rebuild their economies.

It will be a rude awakening if we expect global lenders like the World Bank to give us billions of dollars at the expense of more credit-worthy or developed economies. We will soon realise that we are at the bottom of the pecking order. 

Going forward, Africa needs to be circumspect in the way it conducts its international affairs as a result of what is happening.

First, we would be deluded to think that we will eventually count when negotiations start on post Covid-19 global power sharing.

Africa is in denial, and it is really time to smell the coffee. We are busy searching for scapegoats, and ignoring the truth as espoused by former Ambassador of the African Union to the US Arikana Chihombori-Quao, who was “fired” for her candour about what ails Africa.  

Meanwhile, if you really want to know the real issues facing our continent, both currently and after Covid-19, I recommend reading the recent World Bank’s, Africa’s Pulse, No. 21, Spring 2020: An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa’s Economic Future.

— The writer is a communication expert, and public policy analyst —[email protected]

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