When Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina officially launched the herbal remedy for the novel COVID-19 virus christened, “COVID Organics”, thousands of people across the world, including those from the African continent, derided him. Dozens of scientists disparaged him in their usual tendency to pour scorn on any scientific innovation and discoveries from Africa. However, as a dark cloud continue to heavily hang over the world, with the cycle of death not showing any sign of stopping and millions of families remaining devastated by the virus, Africa seemed to have turned the tables on the Imperial West and the Domineering East.
Nowhere has this new era for African surge in global economics and science been evident than Tanzania where the maverick President John Pombe Magufuli flatly refused to take a queue from other African leaders who have instituted curfews and lockdowns to stem the tide of the deadly COVID-19. Coming barely weeks after he roundly dismissed the exploitative Chinese loans as dangled carrots that could only be accepted by silly drinkers and idiots, President Maguful ordered bottles of the Madagascar’s COVID Organics to treat Tanzanians infected by the virus. So far, over 500 people are reportedly ailing from the virus while 16 have died.
And many African countries who initially lambasted Madagascar’s herbal cure are changing their stance as their wait for a Western or Eastern solution for the disease turns into a wild goose chase amid disappointing reports that the Chinese kits being donated to countries around the world are faulty. It is believed that dozens of African leaders and businessmen have secretly placed orders for the COVID Organics while Presidents are mulling over officially paying allegiance to the Madagascar’s miracle cure. They are unfazed about what western donors are going to say about it. Could this be the African Solutions to African Problems that the continent’s Presidents have been vociferating at the African Union annual forums in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the much-touted Africa Renaissance?
One may dismiss COVID Organics as untested and unexperimented, but like the herbal medicines of yore our ancestors imbibed, the Madagascan scientists have proved it. It works for them, it works for Africa. According to the Madagascan government, and those who have used the herbal remedy, it has perfectly worked not only for the novel coronavirus, but also cured a host of other diseases like Malaria. This development puts the Western world, which has for decades styled itself as the Godfathers of medicine and scientific innovation, in an awkward position. They can’t just accept that an African country, that condemned Dark Continent, can rise up from the woodworks and offer the world a cure for a complex virus.
Africans on social media are not leaving any stone unturned in this quest to stamp their authority in global health and economics. They continue to hit out at the World Health Organization, already under fire for its delay to alert the world about COVID-19, for the condescending attitude towards African medical researchers. They believe no one should have monopoly over the best medicine, after all in many parts of Africa people continue to use herbs which are not certified by WHO, and they get cured.
It has been said that perpetual experiments with Western concepts, and even the far East ones, by African countries have never born any fruit for a continent imbued with precious minerals but ironically leads in poverty. Since attaining independence from their respective colonialists, African countries have tried every foreign system and structure but no enviable social, political and economic record has been achieved. Ridiculous as it may sound, Western educated African scientists, save for the Madagascar’s ones, are sitting on their laurels marveling at their academic papers while their counterparts in the West and East are brain storming and burning the mid-night oil to find a solution to the cure of the COVID-19. While universities in Europe and America are leading players in the war against coronavirus, African universities closed with nursery schools and lecturers and students are staring at TV screens waiting for a scientific breakthrough from the West.
In sports, an African has never believed in their footballers until they make it to the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga or the Italian Serie A. Every time you see an African woman or man struggling with a European accent, know that it’s not because they hate Africa, they love it the way a man loves their daughter- the only problem is that the Western mode of education that has always presented anything African as regressive.
However, those days, the unforgettable days that saw Africa derisively christened “a Dark Continent”, are now diminishing as a bold new era of Africa Renaissance that aims to reverse that current state of affairs is at our doorsteps. A new breed of African leaders are emerging and calling a spade a spade, without flinching about FDIs. Magufuli has already set the ball rolling by rejecting the Chinese loans. In the next decades, Africa is going to be the new superpower!
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