By James William Mugeni
- Both United States and Africa should revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development goal 17.
In times of crisis, the United States has always taken a global leadership role. Considering the spreading coronavirus, Africa, which has been a beneficiary of the USA support in times of crisis, should think of a friend in need.
The United States is undergoing an unprecedented crisis, and it is struggling to focus on the problems at home, much less abroad. But the USA should not ignore its central global role that the rest of the world, especially Africa, has benefited from.
Africa should not feel too poor to help the USA. The United States should not forget that it has, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department, with global reach, trained very many health experts in Africa.
We have thousands of Africans, veterans of past outbreaks, such as H1N1, Ebola, and avian flu among others. The USA should reach out and call us for deployment. They should help developing countries not only because it is the right thing to do but actually make them reliable partners who can reach out in hours of need to USA.
I have painfully watched death figures in the USA. I feel I should not be part of the primitive politics killing the United States and the world. Why do we subscribe to WHO, CDC for example? I was trained by the Italian cooperation and when the projects ended, they left me unemployed. Now I’m painfully watching Italy roll bodies in thousands.
Similarly, the United States trained and engaged so many of us for projects in Africa but when projects ended, we were left unemployed in thousands under hostile conditions. Now we are watching the USA’s death figures spiraling. I saw 811 yesterday, today I have watched 1041 helplessly.
Africa can help because it is in its enlightened self-interest to do so as the coronavirus pandemic directly impacts U.S. foreign policy and national security interests of African countries.
A successful, sustainable development agenda requires true partnerships between the US and Africa. These partnerships, built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the center, are needed at the global, regional, national level.
Throughout this pandemic, the developed countries have worried more about Africa amidst the present narratives that portray Africa as hell. Most countries that claim to be development partners have airlifted their citizens, predicting the worst for Africa.
The developed world feels it is the right thing
to do. Listen to this narratives from USA about Africa: “Most parts of Africa
have fragile health care systems that are less prepared than the United States
to deal with the coronavirus”. The United States should step in to potentially save
millions of lives. It is also a health diplomacy opportunity that can have an
immediate and positive impact on public opinion.
In addition, it is in the US national security interest to do so. The coronavirus could further destabilize the Middle East, an already volatile region by hurting its economies, including that of one of the United States’ closest allies in the region, Jordan. It could also pause important peace talks in Afghanistan indefinitely.
The coronavirus could trigger an increase in migration from developing countries to the United States and its allies if economies collapse.
The coronavirus raging through the developing world could have spillover effects in the United States”. Now if Americans die in thousands, won’t it have a spillover effects in Africa?
Last, in an era of strategic power competition with China, the United States must be a leader during this crisis, even if that means coordinating with China. Otherwise, China’s early aid moves could be the harbinger of the end of American global leadership”.
From my graduate class of certified public management, I quote Thomus Donohue: “The United States faces a severe worker shortage and there should be advocates for changes in its immigration laws to allow more foreign workers.”
The former chamber of commerce president says the country is ill prepared with the impending retirement of 77 million baby boomers. “We have yet to secure an adequate supply of working taxpayers to run a growing economy and support an explosion of retirees. What America needs is labor, and we are going to be significantly without it.”
I graduated in December 2018 as a certified public Manager I don’t think things have changed significantly since then. This need for labor is in all fields from health professionals to the manufacturing companies. Many immigrants are locked in facilities for the aged.
The Coronavirus has ended up locking the whole world. As a health worker I know for sure that Africa is a major supplier of labor across the whole world. Of late my country Uganda has thousands of young people in the Arab world.
I belong to a Global association of Clinical officers and physician assistants but those of us from Africa are only looked at as numbers and the World Health Organization encourages this. We should have by now deployed globally but Africa is not part of that globe.
Why can’t Uganda, with 52 active cases of coronavirus and 0 deaths, be an example to countries of America, Europe, and China etc? Yes, we have weak systems which have been created by unreliable partnerships. Nothing genuine comes from China, nothing genuine comes from America and nothing genuine comes from the United Kingdom. The coronavirus now exposes this.
A disease that should have brought out examples of globalization has instead proved that globalization is just on paper.
The author is a Medical Clinical Officer/Certified Public Manager who currently lives in the United States.
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