MUGOLLA: Africa’s winning attitude against Covid-19

What you need to know:

•. Kenya always meets international financial obligations on time, but the next few years might be a little difficult due to the global pandemic

“To win there must be an opportunity. To win we must change the way we think. To win we must change our response to humanity.” 

These words were recently uttered by President Kenyatta during a virtual meeting with other African heads of state, leaders and technocrats hosted by the New York Forum Institute.

Though it is challenging to pull together many African leaders to discuss the challenges facing the continent, one silver lining of the Covid-19 crisis is the new virtual meetings that are bringing people together.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY

While addressing his peers, President Kenyatta stressed the importance of getting Africa involved in the Covid-19 response, especially in terms of economic recovery.

If Africa is to bounce back to the growth trajectory, it is essential that we take part in the economic response process, rather than being passive recipients of aid and donations from high income countries. 

During the panel, which was entitled “Resilient World: An African Call for a New World Order,” President Kenyatta stressed being part of the solution. Kenya always meets international financial obligations on time, but the next few years might be a little difficult due to the global pandemic.

That means that African states might need a little more flexibility with regard to international duties over the next few months.

Mmany countries in Africa are handling the crisis better than most people expected. In Kenya, that can partially be attributed to the fast and decisive action taken by the government.

It is Kenya’s duty to manage information sharing between African countries to help save lives.

The spirit of unity is already a familiar one in Kenya. Not only the famous handshake between President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, but many political and social changes have emerged over the past few years.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

 The tribe is an important source of familial, cultural heritage, but it is not what makes our identity. The same principle can be applied to the nation-wide collective response to Covid-19. As developing

African nations, we share many fundamental goals. The things we seek - security and safety, good infrastructure, a promising future for our children - are aspirations that we all share. 

It would be a pity to let some of our African brothers and sisters fall behind if we can prevent it.

One thing that Kenya is doing particularly good at right now is the use of technology to stop the spread of the disease. Our M-Pesa system is one of the most prolific money transfer platforms in the continent. 

Technology has always been a key driver of growth and youth employment, and we have already seen young people working on apps during this crisis to help communities access supplies and medical services. 

So while it is easy to highlight all of the difficulties of this situation, it is also not difficult to find many positive outcomes of fighting off a global pandemic. Kenyans and Africa will work together to overcome Covid-19.

Mr Mugolla comments on topical socio-political issues. [email protected]