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COVID-19: tragedy for the Black continent
Material posted: Publication date: 17-04-2020
Pandemic coronavirus has become a global health crisis and a human tragedy on a planetary scale. Register every day thousands of new cases of infection. Among the most affected by the pandemic countries, leading EU member States (Germany, Italy, Spain, France), USA, China. In this regard, it is surprising the fact that Africa, a continent with a complex social situation, a low level of development of medicine and the almost complete lack of proper sanitation during the long period remained untouched novel coronavirus infection. However, for Africa's future peak COVID-19 will be much more disastrous economic and social consequences than for Western and Asian countries.

Africa is the continent with the youngest population in the world. The median age is 18 years. As you know, people in this age group carry the virus quite easily, sometimes unaware that they are native speakers. Simultaneously, the continent's population is over 1.3 billion people, however, tests are available to health professionals working in African countries is small, accordingly, their number is insufficient. In addition, the level of medicine in General does not allow to take the required action for treatment. As a consequence, timely detection of all cases and registration of deaths is impossible, and so, by the time of penetration of the virus in African countries, the degree of destructiveness to them can become extremely high.

In early April, the world health organization (who) warned of the rapid speed of the spread of coronavirus infection in Africa, saying that the growth of the incidence rate are increasing exponentially [1]. According to official data, in the first days of the month the total number of confirmed cases of infection COVID-19 in Africa has exceeded 10 thousand people. As of April 9, the greater the number of infected countries North Africa: Algeria (1575 people), Egypt (1560 persons), Morocco (1275 people) [2].

In comparison with other countries the number of confirmed cases of infection in Africa is relatively small. However, if measures to contain the coronavirus will not be taken and the ongoing international community support African countries will be insufficiently effective, the pandemic will cause a heavy damage to the whole continent. Against this background, Africa needs more prompt resolution of the major economic challenges hindering the fight against COVID-19. Among them is the following:

  1. Heavy dependence of African economies on the situation of uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus in their territory. Today, there are serious disruptions in the global supply chain, is directly dependent on the economic situation in Europe, Asia and the middle East. Decreased demand for the goods traditionally exported to the global market African countries. Moreover, if in recent years Africa has demonstrated high attractiveness for foreign direct investment (FDI), but today, in the context of a pandemic and the approaching crisis, FDI flows slowed and in some cases completely stopped.
  2. Projected in a pandemic economic losses and rapid deterioration of the quality of life of the African population, most of whom today live below the poverty line. The prohibitions and restrictions imposed by governments of countries within Africa and beyond its borders not only restrict the movement of citizens of the domestic state borders, but also lead to stopping the activities of many public and private organizations, which is provided by the lives of Africans.
  3. The collapse of oil prices in the context of the pandemic and the increasing geopolitical rivalry between the world's key actors. Since the beginning of the year, the Brent oil fell by 50%, dropping to a minimum value of $of 21.76 per barrel [3]. A similar tendency is shown also national varieties of oil of different countries, including African countries-oil exporters: Algeria, Angola, Libya, Nigeria and some others. For them, the continuation of this trend in the near future will lead to disastrous consequences for national budgets.

These problems to date have led to a marked slowdown in economic growth, which is particularly acute in certain sectors of the economy, primarily in tourism. Many businesses small and medium businesses cease to exist or be under the threat of bankruptcy. This in turn will cause rising unemployment. The subsequent crisis hits as the private and public sectors of the economy that will exacerbate social problems of the African society, threatening not only peace and stability within the continent but outside it.

In these circumstances, the international community represented by the UN and operating under her body or Committee is making efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Africa. A definite plus is that the governments of most African States who already have experience in the fight against epidemics [4], closely related to the guidelines and consistently implement them. However, the fight against coronavirus in Africa and only began to be ready for various scenarios.

Zerizer Catherine

The list of the used literature and sources

  1. Who assessed the situation with the spread of the coronavirus in Africa // RIA Novosti. Mode of access: https://ria.ru/20200408/1569744791.html
  2. Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Mode of access: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
  3. The price of Brent crude oil fell below $22 per barrel // Vedomosti. Mode of access: https://www.vedomosti.ru/finance/news/2020/03/30/826637-tsena-nefti-brent
  4. Ebola virus disease // World Health Organization. Mode of access: https://www.who.int/health-topics/ebola/#tab=tab_1

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