How Africa Could Have Taken Advantage of COVID-19

A look at how Africa could have used the virus to empower itself.

Image from PR Week

he corona virus began its reign of terror when it broke out in Wuhan City, China in December 2019 and quickly spread to parts of Europe and America by mid January 2020 and finally Africa in mid February 2020.

Knowing that the virus has greatly impacted the world economy forcing a lot of businesses to shut down, switch their modes of operation and compensate employees for days not worked while reaping no gains. I believe Africa could have better prepared for the implications of the virus.

Africa is that kid at school who gets picked last. Don’t pitty the kid though.

Here are a few things I think Africa could have done to make the best of the corona virus pandemic:

Closed off all traveling as soon as the virus started spreading

The moment it was confirmed the the virus had moved from Asia to Europe and America, Africa should have put a halt to all incoming travelers and perhaps made arrangements for in-house tourists and outbound nationals to return to their rightful homes on time and in a healthy state.

Not panic as much as other continents

Yes. I said it. We already know that panic does not solve any problem and that it is a normal human reaction. However, national leaders could have instilled a sense of calm by doing the above mentioned step. Aside from that, consoling facts are on Africa’s side:

The virus is less likely to survive in warm humid conditions. Africa is mostly hot with some regions humid.

Most of the cases so far have affected seniors and individuals with frail immune systems. An estimated 92% of the continent‘s population is under 65 years of age. Additionally Africans have stronger immune systems.

Established better trade agreements

A lot of countries rely on Europe and Asia for trade. For instance Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia all have one importer in common,China. The countries they export to include the U.S.A. and parts of Europe. Once these countries paused their economies to control the spread, African countries could have devised a way to pick up where the leading economies left off and additionally supplemented each other for certain losses. This could have boosted the continent’s economies.

Fostered the culture of travel within the continent

With close to no tourists coming in, the expected rise in tourism will instead plummet. This could have been cushioned by creating more awareness, exchange programmes and affordable travel packages for various nationals to see what the different parts of the continent have to offer, what opportunities might be lying ahead and of course enjoyable leisure experiences.

TVWS could have helped move things along

Television White Space Technology (TVWS), though cannot be implemented over night, could have been a solution. Africans still rely heavily on 4G and now 5G networks which are more costly and do not provide coverage in rural areas. This means that with or without the presence of the virus, the issue of remote working could have been less of a strain.

Nevertheless, the continent has tried to mitigate the spread.

I do not possess formal knowledge in economics, biology nor politics.

I do however, possess a keyboard, an opinion and the will to read your thoughts on my article.

I write when I feel like it.