By Kevin Patrice
Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed have warned that if the rest of the world does not help Africa to fight the Covid-19 outbreak the respiratory disease would return to “haunt us all”.
Mr. Abiy argued in an opinion piece in the UK-based Financial Times newspaper that country-specific strategies to deal with the health crisis were “myopic, unsustainable and potentially counter-productive”.
According to the Africa Centre for Disease Control, 43 countries on the continent have confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Its figures show there have been more than 2,400 cases and 64 deaths so far.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned last week that Africa should prepare for the “worst”.
Mr. Abiy said that Africa was saddled with debt, making it difficult to effectively fight Covid-19 – an issue he said needed to resolved.
“The cost of servicing our debts is already often more than our annual health budgets,” he said.
He said that international financial institutions and the G20 group should launch a global fund to support health systems in Africa.
The Nobel laureate said that the spread of the virus showed how connected the world was and therefore nothing short of a coordinated global response would ensure the crisis is ended.
“We are all in this together, and we must work together to the end,” he said.