There are signs that South Africa might take the wrong path and turn the Covid-19 crisis into a platform for a future financial and economic crisis that dwarfs our present problems.
Africa need not be poor. Its continued poverty is a result primarily of poor choices.
African leaders have made these choices, admittedly sometimes in difficult circumstances, based on clear-sighted reasoning for the most part, where politics and the need for control have trumped the logic of development. Success in the global economy has not required a miracle, a secret growth formula or even special conditions in the form of aid or trade preferences. Southeast Asia's rapid development, where the conditions inherited by post-independence leaders were in many cases far worse than those in Africa, is correspondingly testament to the power of good choices.
Coronavirus provides an opportunity to reset Africa's economy, to excuse tough economic choices in the name of crisis. To take an Asian example, Singapore, which secured $13-billion of investments during the first four months of 2020 amidst the coronavirus outbreak, is already acting on the new realities, repositioning away from a dependence on foreign labour and towards increased productivity. This has required a conscious decision to...