The COVID-19 crisis is nothing if not instructive. It has functioned like an X-ray, revealing hidden weaknesses in systems across the world. This isn’t only true in the narrow sense, relating to health care, insurance, and protective gear manufacturing systems. It’s also true in the wider, political sense.
In some ways, the pandemic reinforces depressing stereotypes about the continent. The discussions around possible debt relief, and regular donations of PPE, ventilators and other medical gear, present a familiar scenario of Africa as a continent acted upon by external actors, defenseless against economic decisions made in Washington, Brussels, and Beijing.
- Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
- Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
- Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.