Africa: Travails in Africa - the Perils and Pitfalls of Criss-Crossing the Continent During Covid-19


Libreville and N'Djamena, capitals of neighbouring Gabon and Chad, are just more than 1,400km apart as the Boeing flies. But covering that 1,400km has so far entailed a two-day journey via Istanbul and Addis Ababa (we managed to miss Paris this time).

Travelling around the African continent during Covid-19 times has its own challenges -- PCR tests, wearing masks all the time, manoeuvring around lockdown measures of countries, or walking the thin line through airport traffic and restaurants in countries where masks are not enforced.

My trip to the headquarters of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in Libreville, Gabon, was no different. The African Peer Review Mechanism may be headquartered in South Africa where we are at Level 3 lockdown, but we just can't avoid missions to our national offices or partner institutions, as most of them are still operating close to normal. I had to make my way to Libreville to avoid another postponement of our long-overdue engagement with this important regional economic community.

Libreville is one of the most unforgettable cities on the continent, thanks to its sophisticated urban landscape and location along the edges of the Atlantic Ocean with its enticing waves. But getting...

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