The Covid-19 crisis is a life-size test for Africans, who must more than ever find on their own the collective solutions adapted to their problems

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rrCompared to the Covid-19 crisis which shook the world, Africa remains to this day the least affected continent: 271,000 cases “only” for a population of nearly 1.3 billion inhabitants, i.e. a low infection rate of 0.2% of the population. According to official figures, therefore, the virus is spreading very slowly in Africa. A situation undoubtedly linked to the demographic structure or to the climates of the continent, but which is also probably not foreign, it must be admitted, to the pragmatism of institutions and governments whose rapid measures have been effective in limiting the pandemic.

African countries very quickly understood that a strict confinement modeled on the Western model was impossible to apply and made it known, like Benin, Rwanda, Madagascar, Senegal or Ethiopia, including the capital Addis Abeba is the third city in the world in terms of density of diplomats behind New York and Geneva.

In this country, which is also home to the headquarters of the African Union (AU), educational institutions and public spaces closed in March, long before the official detection of the first cases, while Addis Ababa was emptying of its community. expatriates. Today, the wearing of a mask remains compulsory in public spaces as in many other countries. Remained open, supermarkets and other public places have been equipped with portable sinks at the entrances, and the requirement for hand sanitizers before entering them has been generalized.

Traffic restriction

To limit the concentration of people in the capital, the Ethiopian government has also limited there from the week of April 20 the number of cars in circulation, allowing even or odd registrations alternately every other day, all vehicles being free to ride on Sunday.

Another prevention initiative to welcome, that of Ethiotelecom , the only Ethiopian telephone company, which belongs to the State and which had more than 66.2 million users in 2018: with each call made from a telephone portable, its users must listen to a brief preventive message giving very clear indications on the barrier gestures and other basic measures against the spread of the virus. Simple, pragmatic, and effective to reach the entire population.