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REFLECTION: Africa Needs To Open Up Its Economy Otherwise

Economically We Shall Be Dead!

By DR. LUBINDA HAABAZOKA
AS EAZ President, I have spent this week moving around markets, shopping malls and other business places. One thing I have observed is that in compounds such as Mtendere, Kamanga, Chaisa and other similar places, business is running as usual. There are overcrowding and no sense of social distance.
In the upper markets, business is at a standstill. Malls have no people. Shops are closing down. Business is almost at a standstill. And yet, at the hospitals, we only have 41 active COVID-19 cases!!!
Our borders are almost closed. Stocks are dwindling in shops! Very soon some imported things will disappear. It’s now 6 months after the COVID-19 campaign was hyped by the media.
Looking at the number of new cases and fatality around the world, the virus is definitely not a danger in Zambia and Africa. Yes, it’s deadly in a lot of cases but that have spoken to that have it say symptoms disappeared quickly.
That doesn’t mean that COVID-19 is not a killer!! It is!!! All am saying is that as economists, we are tired!!! We ask medical practitioners to sit down and tell us ways in which we can prevent the spread of the virus whilst business is open!!!
We need to open up business! We are killing African economies! Those people in Mtendere are not dying in numbers but are heavily congested at markets.
Schools and gyms can remain closed! But the hospitality industry should open!!! It employs a lot of people!!! If we continue like this for 2 months, we shall never recover from this economic downturn!!!
Let this be a national decision and not a government decision. Nobody knows what will happen in the future! No one knows how things will move so no one should be blamed for consequences of opening up!!! But we need to open up!!!!
Mines should go and mine!! Bakeries bake! Bars brew!! Restaurants serve!! Schools and churches should be closed for now!!!
Africa needs to open up its economy otherwise economically we shall be dead! This is our time to take advantage of the situation and advance our opportunities as Africa!!!
My submission!!!!

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