Africa: COVID-19 - a Plague for the Poor

South African Police shut down spaza shops in Govan Mbeki Township in Port Elizabeth.

African people know how to crack a good joke, even in tough times. But the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted that, in an African context, the disease is anything but a joke.

In its attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19, South Africa has adopted similar measures to countries in Europe, North America and Asia by closing schools, putting curfews on restaurants, abandoning shopping malls and encouraging people to work from home.

We tend to forget, however, that global precedents are not always applicable to Africa, simply because the contexts we live in are entirely different.

Most Western countries have enjoyed democracy for centuries. As it stands currently, there are still African countries such as Zimbabwe that don't enjoy democracy in its truest form. How then could the two continents ever compare or collaborate or mirror the actions of the other, even in what is a global pandemic?

We coined the term "African solutions for African problems" and allowed it to become something that was never put into practice in terms of legislation and policy.

According to the OECD, people in South Africa are more vulnerable to the virus because of the poor air quality. The country also performs below the...

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