COVID-19 Pandemic: The Way Forward For Africa (Feature PT 1)
COVID-19 has exposed the harsh realities in Africa and to Africans. Our porous health systems, poor technological advancement, and worse of all our over-dependence on foreign aid. Due to the pandemic, all countries in the world are fighting for the lives of their people and at the same time trying to stabilize their economies.
At this point, Africa is left with the only option of finding solutions by using its own human resources. The outcome has been impressive.
The youth in Africa have boldly risen to the challenge and developed numerous innovations.
Opportunities have been created in the midst of the pandemic. There is a boom in locally manufactured nose masks, hand sanitizers, Veronica buckets, and face shields.
In Kenya, a startup team has developed a video conferencing app known as Gumzo, to enhance virtual communication. What makes it unique is the fact that it is “Africa friendly”.
It has lower call rates and better call quality as compared to similar foreign apps. In terms of features, it has better features that can easily beat the competition.
Two young Ghanaians, Richard Kwarteng and Jude Osei, created a touchless basin, to reduce the risk of touching contaminated surfaces, and getting infected with the virus.
Wellvis, a Nigerian startup founded by Wale Adeosun is currently developing a free online tool that answers questions and gives medical suggestions on COVID-19.
There are lots of other businesses and innovations taking place all over Africa besides the above-mentioned startups.
In order to maintain the zeal of innovative young people across the continent, certain processes that must be put in place in order to ensure that precautions set for the pandemic are duly maintained.
This will go a long way in bridging the digital divide between Africa and other continents. It will improve the standard of living on the continent.
Above all Africans must make use of their own resources, cut down on foreign aid and eventually become totally self-reliant.