The Covid-19 situation in Africa is very different from what we are being told. First of all, the statistics show that the pandemic is not the continent's number one problem. Secondly, the rhetoric about poor countries not receiving vaccines clashes with reality: the doses have arrived, but no health organisation is there to help manage administering them to the enormous population.
Pope Francis' visit to Iraq, which illustrated that the road to dialogue is a viable one, has no doubt generated hope among the local population. However, it is now up to political and religious leaders to demonstrate their willingness to lay down their arms and fight corruption. For Christians, the desire to return to their homes and lands - previously occupied by Isis and now by Shiite militias - risks remaining a mere hope.
It is right to invite the three religions to collaborate for development and peace, but it isn’t to try and make a new religion of the Sons of Abraham. Yet, this is precisely the risk that Pope Francis ran with the approach he took in Ur.
Since February 3, Ebola has again struck the Democratic Republic of Congo: the first victim was a 42-year-old woman who died after two days. Meanwhile, the virus has also reappeared in Guinea. The WHO has alerted the countries most at risk, where Ebola, which has a lethality rate varying between 25 and 90%, is much more alarming than Covid. At least, compared to the past, there is more availability of vaccines.
By declassifying a CIA report more than two years later, the new US president is reopening the Khashoggi case. The journalist, who was murdered in Istanbul in 2018 in the Saudi consulate, was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. He promoted its agenda in the Washington Post.
The reopening roadmap announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks like a dream when seen from EU countries. Yet, in spite of those who predicted post-Brexit catastrophes, at least in terms of managing the Covid war, the fact is the United Kingdom has proven itself much better prepared than the EU from which it recently exited.
Both the new Biden administration in the United States and Macron's in France are currently questioning their long-standing wars against jihadist terrorism. The U.S. is unable to end its lengthy conflict in Afghanistan. Furthermore, by pulling out, it knows that the Taliban will take over. It is the same situation for the French in the Sahel campaign against Isis and Al Qaeda.
Although it’s not yet clear whether we are facing a real turnaround, or only propaganda tactics, the Biden administration immediately makes it clear which side it is on in the Gulf: a stop to military aid to the Saudis and Emiratis in their war in Yemen, the rehabilitation of the Houthi (Shiites, pro-Iran), and new nuclear agreements with Tehran.
Judging by the solid alignment of media, big business and social movements against Trump, you'd think there had been a plot to ensure he lost the presidential election. Ironically, it turns out there really was one and its key players are bragging about it in Time magazine, believing they were acting in defence of democracy.
While China emerges as the global winner of the pandemic challenge and related economic crisis, it is often forgotten that there is another China that is a far more attractive model for the free world. It is the China of Taiwan. It has a lower mortality and higher growth rate. Yet for all international organisations, Taiwan ‘doesn’t exist’.
The deposition of dictator Siad Barre in January 1991 should have opened a new era of freedom and development: instead, a war between clans broke out, which still endures today and has encouraged the growth of Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab. Not to mention the billions of dollars in international aid that have ended up in the pockets of the ‘warlords’.
At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Africa was projected to be the hardest hit continent. The projection proved to be incorrect. Now international organizations are making it a priority to vaccinate Africa. The problem is not supply. Even African nations are purchasing doses in huge quantities. The problem is local organization.