Africa and Covid-19: Where Do We Go from Here?
Africa was one of the last regions to be hit by the pandemic; it gave leaders and regional organisations a head start in setting up strategies to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Nonetheless, the efforts must not stop there. Initially, it seemed like African countries have been spared the Covid-19 devastation that some experts predicted. Although statistics show that Africa’s death toll is lower than other regions, concerns have begun to arise as infections multiply and newer variants spread. Countries are experiencing severe second and third waves of the pandemic, with the most affected being Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Zambia, Rwanda, and Tunisia. Unfortunately, global vaccine inequity has placed Africa behind in the vaccine rollouts.
Once the outbreak subsides, African leaders must invest in research and policy responses that mitigate future outbreaks and deliver high-quality healthcare to Africans in secure environments. We suggest that regardless of Africa’s relative success in managing the virus, moving ahead, the continent needs not just a collection of policies but also a strategy that integrates emergency disease outbreaks into continental structures.