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COVID-19 — THE WORLD AT CROSSROADS – Time for Africa’s leaders and citizens to reason

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The Federal Republic of Germany has officially gone into recession. No thanks to ravaging Coronavirus that has spared no part of the world. It strengthens expectations that Germany, the strongest economy in Europe is facing its deepest recession since World War Two. And economists say the worst is yet to come. To many, it looks like a dream that the whole world is confined indoors by an unseen enemy that has virtually brought the global economy to its knees.  Financial markets, corporate offices, businesses and events have suffered incalculable harm. A study bt Peterson Ozili reveals that the increasing number of lockdown days, monetary policy decisions and international travel restrictions severely affected the level of economic activities and the closing, opening, lowest and highest stock price of major stock market indices. These are indeed hard times, especially for Africa. GLOBAL PROBLEMS: Even as COVID-19 continues to run berserk, UNAIDS, the UN agency fighting against the deadly HIV/AIDS virus has given indications of its receipt of a petition from global leaders requesting that when a successful COVID-19 vaccine is developed, it be made available free of charge to all. Additionally, reports indicate that a halt to all debt repayments (both principal and interest) would be required for one year, or until debt restructuring packages are worked out as a result of COVID-19. This is essential because as much as $1.6 trillion of developing country external debt is due to be repaid in 2020, with a further $1.1 trillion due in 2021. Where will that come from at this critical time? Generally, the developing world is unable to cope alone with the devastating crises. A number of factors have drawn African backward, particularly avoidable crises, strife and rancour. Therefore, most African nations continue to rely on foreign financial assistance, aids and grants, without very cogent plans detailing how to get out of embarrassing situations. This writer one though about the dignity of African nations with the United States, United Kingdom and the Peoples Republic of China shipping Africa’s leaders to their nations for talks on development. When will it be the turn of Africa to host all European, American and Far-East countries leaders in Addis Ababa or Abuja for similar purposes? May be we could agreed to be shipped to those major capitals because we need money and other forms of assistance. G-7 and similar bodies are okay.  Economic and diplomatic experts…

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