In a statement signed by former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and other African leaders, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abeokuta by Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, the media aide to Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria and former presidents and prime ministers in Africa on Tuesday called for effective regional cooperation to combat the spread of the coronavirus on the continent.
They also said the epidemiological progression in already affected areas has indicated that the worst case is yet to occur in Africa.
Some of the other African leaders who signed the statement were Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (former President of Liberia), Joyce Banda (former President of Malawi), Festus Mogae (former President of Botswana), John Kufuor (former President of Ghana), Joaquim Chissano (former President of Mozambique), Thabo Mbeki (former President of South Africa), Mohamed Marzouki (former President of Tunisia), and Hailemariam Desalegn (former Prime Minister of Ethiopia).
“Taking into account the weak healthcare bases in Africa, the conurbation and the communal living of our people particularly in ghettos and poverty-stricken areas of our cities, the outbreak of COVID-19 in these areas of African communities and cities will be a monumental disaster,” the statement stated.
“We, as concerned African leaders, note the efforts that African governments are making within their limited resources to deal with this global challenge.
“We, however, appeal to leaders and elites at national, regional, and continental levels and to international organisations and foundations to draw up a concrete, effective and continental emergency plan to combat COVID-19 onslaught at its crescendo in Africa which will be soon.
“With porous borders all over Africa, national efforts will not be enough but regional and continental.
“We particularly call on African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank and the G-20 to urgently have a plan that will moderate the social and economic effect of the onslaught of COVID-19 on Africa” the statement said.