The spread of COVID-19 is accelerating across the world. In Africa, most countries have now confirmed cases and the number of fatalities is rising. If allowed to spread unmanaged, the impact on African citizens and economies will be substantial.
At the time of publication (30 March 2020), cases in Africa remain low compared to other regions. According to the data available, this can be attributed to both the average age of African citizens, which is the lowest globally, and factors relating to the continent’s climate – although this has been recently challenged by some experts.
The paper focuses on the current health landscape and related challenges, while considering the road ahead. COVID-19’s global outreach will have a huge economic and wider impact on the entire African continent. Occurring later, it will isolate Africa from recovering other regions.
On the continent, the pandemic will widen inequalities within and between countries, worsen already existing fragilities, restrict employment and investment prospects, and potentially fuel additional domestic unrest and conflicts. This requires immediate attention, and calls for adequate, coordinated responses.
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