Episode 54: Will Africa learn any lessons from Magufuli’s death?

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses nation on developments in South Africa’s strategy to control he spread of COVID-19. Photo: GovernmentZA is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Whenever anyone in the west tries to express concern over the state of affairs in our continent, our leaders often begin chanting the “African solution for African problems” mantra. Now that President John Magufuli of Tanzania tried the African solution of prayers and failed miserably by dying of suspected of Covid-19, will our leaders start looking for real practical solutions?

Because of our failure to innovate, we find ourselves once again at the mercy of wealthy nations of the west, begging for vaccines to combat rising cases of coronavirus. African countries have received only 300 million doses for their 1.3 billion people. Some like South Africa are paying more than double the price rich countries in Europe pay for vaccines. And the western pharmaceutical corporations are lobbying their rich governments to oppose the World Health Organization’s appeal to allow developing countries to reproduce Covid-19 vaccines. Could you blame them?

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