When COVID-19 first broke out in China, no one knew it would threaten the economy, as it has right now. As of the 23rd of July 2020, there were a total of 770,175 confirmed cases, of which 435,142 have recovered, and 16,446 have died. Without a vaccine or a cure, it is hard for African countries to fight a virus we know nothing about.
As a result, the majority of our economic activities have felt the effects of the virus. However, some lessons can be drawn for the outbreak.
This sector is already crippled with budget cuts to constant strikes from caregivers and mismanagement. To save the collapsing health care facilities, most countries closed their borders. However, the strain that has been set upon the health care facilities can still be felt, with some countries unable to handle the outbreak.
As a result, African countries should prioritize health care as a basic necessity for all citizens in any given country, increasing the number of health care providers and building more health-care facilities with the latest technology, will go a long way in strengthening the already failing sector.
Access to good and quality education has been a significant challenge for many African countries, as many are still developing. Access to quality education is still a thing most countries are trying to prioritize. However, COVID-19 has caused a major setback. It has led to the closure of schools and students have to stay home indefinitely.
As a result, the introduction of the online classes seemed to be the best option, but it was also met with challenges of its own. Developing an education system, by employing more staff, will reach more children, even in remote areas.
African economies have not been left behind as a result of the outbreak, with an upward surge of infections daily, the majority of economic activities in the region have been put on hold, and those that are running are not doing too well. As a result, most people have lost their sources of income, and countries’ economies have collapsed due to most countries preferring to lock down.
However, countries are slowly opening up as a way of reviving the crumbling economy and save jobs. African countries should come up with strategies to protect their economies and safeguard the informal job market for low-income earners and cushion them against future disasters.
African countries should come up with strategies on how to sustain themselves in case they have a repeat of such events in the future. COVID-19 should act as an eye-opener and a litmus test for the current policies in place. Learning from others and also from our own mistakes as a way to safeguard the future of Africa for generations to come, and also be accountable for our leaders.
A country like Rwanda has set an example on how to deal with an outbreak, by putting the health of its people first. This has demonstrated that African countries can control infections in case of an epidemic.