What real data does Africa have in the face of the coronavirus? | Future Planet

Although Africa is home to two out of every ten people in the world, it has received only 7% of the coronavirus vaccines. While 241 million people in the northern hemisphere have already received the third dose, 93% of the continent has not even been cited for the first. Vaccination is the first step towards restoring a continent that already faced endless challenges and obstacles before the fateful 2020. “Without immunity, it is highly unlikely that social, economic and health aspects will improve,” Camila Rocca assured through a video call , director of the report entitled Covid-19: a complex road to recovery, published this Monday by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, responsible for a consolidated thermometer of the reality and quality of African politics and its rulers.

The philosophy of this prestigious meter, which from this year will issue biennial and not annual results, is that obtaining data is key to driving any change. And those published this year are not very encouraging, starting with the records themselves: one out of every two children born on the continent does not appear in any registry. This implies being invisible to the Government and not having access to health, education and any other rights. According to the entity’s estimates, only 10% of deaths were reported. This problem, which causes “insufficient and overwhelming” policies, was also noted in the data during the pandemic. The World Health Organization reports that 86% of contagion cases in Africa were never detected.

The results of last year’s study showed the first crack in African political governance in the last decade. The 0.2 decrease was noted primarily in three of the four foundation index indicators (IIAG): rights and inclusion, security, justice and human development, and citizen participation. This last scale put on the table a growing popular discontent towards political leaders, which began to be more noticeable in 2015.

Africa will be the region with the largest number of labor in 2040. With education, it could usher in a new era

This year, although the report focuses on the pandemic, it has affected in a transversal way the advances and setbacks of the three categories analyzed (economy, society and health), taking into account 237 variables from 40 different databases in 54 countries of the continent. The big evidence: sanitation has deteriorated. In 2020, access to this service was less accessible than in 2019 and more expensive than in 2015. The average of this indicator in African countries is 45.5 out of 100, with 30 being the number of nations that have seen this category deteriorate.

Universal health in the world.
Universal health in the world.Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The founder of the prestigious entity focused on development, the Sudanese Mo Ibrahim, defender that “crises are also an opportunity”, insisted on the presentation of the report that entities make use of the data obtained: “The impact of the COVID-19 has highlighted a spectrum of complex governance challenges facing African nations. I hope this study, based on a decade of figures, will serve as an essential resource for policy makers, the private sector and civil society as they work to get Africa back on the road to recovery. “

The Gambia, the face of progress

The Gambia, located in West Africa, is the country that has improved the most in terms of governance in the last decade, mainly in the category of participation, human rights and inclusion (+19.5) and security and rule of law (+14.2) . As well as has presented improvements in the area of ​​economic opportunities (+4.7). However, on the other side of the coin is Libya, which in 2010 ranked ninth in the ranking in terms of Human Development and today appears at number 35. It is the one that has worsened the most. It drops 25.3 points in social protection, 15.3 in education and 12.7 in the environment. “But it is very curious that these are the 10 countries with the best scores in the health subcategory (with 72.9). Is between the top-10″, Explica Rocca.

The closure of schools in Africa.
The closure of schools in Africa.Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Educational quality, another of the pillars of research, has been the seventh (of the 79) most hit meters. Somalia, which until last year did not even have its own curriculum for Secondary, is the last in line, which did not receive a single point, as did Eritrea, Niger, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. For the generation of African students, the closure of schools meant the end of learning. Rocca regrets that remote training “practically did not exist” given that 94% of the children did not have access to the Internet or computers. And half of the young people did not even have a radio or television (from where many of the classrooms were taught).

Girls and women were, again, the most affected by the closure. The smallest, because they were the first to permanently leave the classroom, and the adult ones because they were the most linked to informal work (92%). “The pandemic reversed many of the advances in the eradication of gender violence, education and, above all, in the fight against maternal mortality rates increased between February and July 2020, compared to the previous year. Another of the rights that have been most shaken has been that of civic space and the freedoms of the media throughout the continent. 44 African countries restricted at least one democratic practice as part of their response to COVID-19 in 2020. Press freedom was the most violated.

Almost 600 million Africans do not have access to electricity, equivalent to twice the North American population

For experts, talking about recovery on the continent involves moving several key pieces in addition to vaccination. Among the priorities: guarantee access to connectivity. Although access to the virtual world has improved in the 54 nations evaluated, it is still the second lowest indicator. The ranking indicates that almost 600 million Africans do not have access to electricity, equivalent to twice the North American population.

Hope on the continent of opportunity

But it is not all bad news in the report. There are percentages that have improved the trend in the last decade in areas such as sanitary regulations. For the director of the study, the leadership of the African Union in recent years and the African Free Trade Area have been vital in strengthening the continent’s capacities: “There are many challenges ahead, but Africa continues to be the continent of opportunities. And this is where the largest mass of labor in the world will be by 2040; it is an enormous wealth. If they are given the opportunities for training and education, it could be an injection not only for recovery, but it could usher in a new era. ” And the more data you have, the better.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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