Former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, has stated that Africa can only avoid a total collapse of its economies as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic if intensive social distancing measures are practised.
In a piece written by him, the 81-year-old former Chairman of the African Union also stated that the continent will only achieve the necessary behavioural change if people can trust the information they have access to.
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Our governments need to invest in trustworthy information and communication systems. This will not be easy given the absence of a dynamic public interest media ecosystem which African citizens can turn to for trustworthy information.
Africa entered this century with great expectations. Its entrepreneurial and political ambitions were growing. The international community was coalescing behind a new agenda of cooperation crystallised in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Unfortunately, with its profound health and economic challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an immense barricade to these ambitions. Fulfilling Africa’s future agenda will require us to change the values our societies place on knowledge and expertise and the way we communicate and interact with one another.
The ability to avert the total collapse of Africa’s already fragile economies in the coming months will require intensive social distancing measures.
However, we will only achieve the necessary behavioural change if people can trust the information they have access to.
Since the outbreak of the disease, many economies have been dealt a blow as many sectors have been affected.
Nigeria and some other African country whose economy depend on oil have been badly affected as the price of oil in the international market collapsed to its lowest in over a decade.
This development has seen many economic experts advising the Nigerian government to diversify the economy so that the country would survive the aftermath of COVID-19 and not plunge and remain in recession in a long time.