COVID-19 Response: I have seen leadership in Africa – Professor Patrick Lumumba

Former Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Professor Patrick Lumumba has extoled leaders of African nations for their swift responses to the devastating effects of COVID-19 across the continent

Lumumba while speaking on the effectiveness of leadership in Africa since the beginning of COVID-19 at the Osasu Show Symposium narrated how leaders of nations in Africa took diverse scientific approaches prescribed the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre for Diseases (CDC) to curb the negative effects of the pandemic on the continent against widely predicted toll the pandemic was to take on African nations.

Speaking further, he commended them for a reasonable job well done in scaling down the negative economic effects the novel virus would have had on the continent and on the scale of ten, he scored African leaders seven.

He said, “First, let me say that when we talk about Africa sometime we talk about her as if she was one country like the United States of America, like India or like China. Let us remember that Africa is divided into 55 independent and sovereign states and the reaction to any situation is the Covide-19 pandemic is informed by certain realities within the geographical space, but I am also aware that science know no boundaries and that is why in our responses as countries, we have allowed ourselves largely to be guided by stipulations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and those of the Centre for Disease Controls (CDC) in Africa to the extent that they have been useful. 

“So the domestic situation as it is in Kenya or in Tanzania or in Uganda has borrowed something from the prescriptions of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as informed by the realities and this COVID pandemic is one that has been unique, the world has been learning on the go and if you doubted me see how ravaging it has been in countries such as the United States of America which one thought would have been the most prepared nation on earth because it is the richest nation on earth.

“See how devastating it was in Spain and Italy, see how devastating it is and still devastating in India and China itself.

“So, Africans countries in my view have responded to this very unique and unprecedented situation in a sound way and it has not been uniform.

“In Rwanda and Uganda which had the opportunity to deal with the Ebola pandemic or epidemic depending on which term you want to use responded very vigorously because they have had the advantage, the learning of dealing with Ebola

“Kenya also in its own way had a mix of what they called the lockdown but choose for economic reasons to go into the whole lockdown, accept the hotspot in Nairobi and Mumbasa at one time and Manlera that has also been a response by science.

“Burundi was a little beat none chalant and that can be understood in the context of the politics of the day. They thought that God will help them but there were also an element in which they did not disrespect science.

“Tanzania took another trajectory which was informed by science, contrary to what some commentators are saying and that science is you close the school, close public sporting facilities and that they did but don’t lockdown because science tells that you can have hard immunity and that particular approach was also utilized by Sweden, was utilized by Taiwan, it was utilized by South Korea and the jury is still out as to which was the most effective method.

“We now know the countries that choose lockdown like the United States of America who are the most affected, Brazil was affected, Italy was affected, Spain was affected and therefore I hold that African governments, each one of them, whichever pattern they took has done a reasonable commendable job.

“You can talk about how South Africa the other day reduced their level of lockdown to level 2 which now allows people to out in numbers of fifty, a number of countries are opening up their skies and I think nobody was prepared for this pandemic that the world has never seen a pandemic whose effects is so devastating as this one has been and on a scale of one to ten, I give African governments seven out ten in terms of their response, have seen leadership”, he stated.