The European Business Council for Africa

‘Nobody is safe until everybody is safe’ has become a cliché over managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yet until now the behaviour of most nation states has been the exact opposite.

Britain astutely grabbed multiple pharmaceutical contracts nearly a year ago, so that aged 71, I have had my Oxford- Zeneca vaccine when my similar- age cousins in South Africa (from where my family originates), haven’t.

With one of the very worst infection and
death rates in the entire world, Boris Johnson has transformed his reputation for Covid incompetence into praise for his vaccination programme.

Yet Britain is an island economy dependent upon trade. People have to fly or sail in (or drive in from Europe) for us to feed ourselves and survive economically.

So Brits can all be vaccinated to kingdom come, but we cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Even during lockdown, people steering planes, ships and lorries have poured in. Under globalisation’s

financial and technological integration, no country and nobody can be an island.

But it’s hardly surprising that the world has splintered, competed and disputed over vaccine supplies. Because that’s how the world has been run over recent years. Nationalism has vanquished internationalism; unilateralism has overwhelmed multilateralism.

President Trump epitomised that, by abandoning the Climate Change Treaty and side- lining the UN, NATO and the EU. He even left the World Health Organisation in the middle of the pandemic. His ‘America First’ was paralleled by ‘Russia First’, ‘China First’ and ‘India First’.

Trump, Putin, Zi, Modi – as well as Bolsonaro, Erdogan and of course Brexit – all reflected a me- first world just at a time when climate change and then the pandemic needed the very opposite.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa – also chair of the African Union – pleaded at the Digital Davos in January for ‘rich countries’ to release ‘their hoards’ of Covid-19 vaccines – and he denounced ‘vaccine nationalism’. In South Africa around 50,000 have died from Covid-19 and

1.5 million have been infected, though numbers are probably higher than these official estimates.

You can fnd the full report here

Source: icintelligence