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The Impact of Covid-19 in Africa

Updated: Sep 6

10, 20, 50, 100, 1000, 5000, 10 000.....that's how the number of cases kept growing day by day in China, then it spread to the rest of Asia, then Europe, and finally North America.

Africa was the last continent hit by  covid-19.

The purpose of this article is to look at the economic and social impact

covid-19 has had so far in Africa, and the reality people have to face because of it.

Of course it's clear that I cannot focus each and every single aspect, but I will talk about the ones that struck me the most.

As much as we all pretty much understand the quarantine and "stay at home" measure imposed by governments since the outbreak of covid-19, you also have to keep in mind that in Africa not every government can back up its population financially in case of a crisis.

Some of them (if not most of them) are already minored in a deep debt with high interest rates (but that's another topic).

The minimum wage in France is €1521 per month, and in Canada it ranges from $11 to $15 per hour depending on the province.

Do you know the minimum wage in African countries?

Trust me, in a lot of them, it's not even half the minimum wage in Europe and North America.

In some countries in Africa, 40% of the population live below the poverty line.

Therefore, asking them to stay at home for 2 months is UNREALISTIC.

Some people (especially women) have to sell fresh products in the market everyday in order to feed their families and pay their bills.

Those goods range from fruit and vegetable to meat and sea food.

Other people are cleaners, garbage collectors, cabs, bus and truck drivers....

Is the government providing them with an emergency financial help program like CERB in Canada? I HIGHLY DOUBT IT!!!

Now let's move on to the school system.

When you ask kids to stay at home for such a long period of time, you must remember that not every household has access to a computer and high speed internet.

Trust me in  my home country Cameroon, sometimes being able to send just one email will drive you nuts. It's like winning the lottery.

Even if there is a computer per family, do you know how many children will need to use it for distance learning and homework? (Some couples have 3, 4, 5 kids).

I also want to add that in very poor areas, having a school open was a way for kids to be provided with an important meal like breakfast on a daily basis, and sometimes take another meal home.

Can you imagine kids performing well at school on an empty stomach?

Now at the social level, let's talk about the impact this long term quarantine has had on domestic violence.

Indeed, if the news in Europe and North America already show that the number of domestic violence cases has significantly increased since the beginning of the quarantine, do you think it will be any different in Africa?

The answer is NO!!

Women and children are trapped over there 24/7 with their abuser and can't even rely on the police and judicial system to support them.

So here we are with most African countries (especially the Francophone ones) wanting to copy the model of occidental countries while they know they don't have the means to back up their population financially and socially.

Let me finish by talking about the "vaccine" they are trying to find in Europe.

Africa ha to undergo slavery, colonialism and so much more without receiving any type of apology from the oppressors.

Now I learned that they want to test that vaccine in Africa as if we were so random guinea pigs that do not deserve any kind of respect.

I think it's DESPICABLE!!

I want to point out that it's not the first time they tried to pull that kind of stunt. There has been some proof of vaccines being contaminated and administered to some africans without them even being aware of it in the past.

Let me tell you, from what I've seen in the news, Africa has been doing a good job in terms of recovery and controlling covid-19.

What are your thoughts on this?

Marie-Madeleine Mbong

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