By TONY KWAME ANSAH, JR.
Every now and then there is an entrepreneur or organization coming out of the African Diaspora.
Within them, there are some worth highlighting and shedding light on during COVID-19.
Before the sun shall rise, there is some darkness to navigate around.
The following are five solutions that have emerged from start of corona-virus epidemic till current pandemic.
Enjoy African progressive development, progressive innovations, and progressive solutions courtesy of the Diaspora!
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), race and ethnicity are experiencing the effects of COVID-19 differently. “Current data available suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups as well as over-representation of blacks among hospitalized patients. Studies are underway to confirm these data and understand and potentially reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minorities.”
There are factors that significantly influence and impact racial and ethnic minority group health, such as inadequate living conditions [like a family of 3 living in a one bedroom apartment], essential work circumstance [like a certified nurse assistant], pre-existing health conditions [like high blood pressure], and less access to medical care [like hospital being a long public commute].
There are resources and solutions to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minorities, such as the African community. For instance, the Massachusetts African Community Response to COVID-19 is a campaign established to educate and empower the African immigrant worker (direct care workers), advocating for their protection, connecting them to support services and resources, and elevating the community’s concern for personal protective equipment (PPE) to the state. Moreover, they have given out free African print mask to individuals and families in need of it, especially front-line workers. They also organized a virtual town hall event with the Massachusetts Office of Attorney General on COVID-19.
Minnesota’s African immigrants and refugees have rallied to overcome quarantine hardships. After the pandemic shutdown, Afro Deli owner Abdirahman Kahin and volunteers delivered meals to the elderly and disabled in the Somali and Oromo communities and recently partnered with Meals on Wheels to expand the deli’s reach.
The Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) is a non-profit organization working with the Ethiopian government to directly involve the Ethiopian Diaspora in improving the lives of Ethiopians by raising vital funds for socio-economic projects in Ethiopia. For instance, EDTF Emergency COVID-19 (EDTF Emergency COVID-19 or EDTF COVID-19) was recently established to address new challenge and existential threat that corona-virus represents to the livelihood of Ethiopians, especially the most disadvantaged segments of the population. In May 2020, the EDTF has procured Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) and related medical supplies worth 1.173 million dollars to safeguard the well-being of front-line health personnel working to save lives across Ethiopia during COVID-19 pandemic.
There is an African owned technology and mobile application/web development company based in North America (Boston, MA) and Sierra Leone (Calaba Town) called Techfrica. Through its app developer side of brand called Appsfrica, they have built educational apps (abcfrica & abcfrica+) for public & private schools as well as home-schools in Sierra Leone and eventually to other institutions of learning in Africa, especially during COVID-19 pandemic. App was built by designing and developing an alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes and much more for Sierra Leonean children and others to learn about animals, fruits, vegetables, and so forth seamlessly through a mobile device.
In May 2020, there was a recent launch of an educational series called COVID-19 in Africa & Africans in Diaspora (AiD) United against COVID-19. It featured Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, alongside global health and diaspora leaders from various institutions and organizations. Attendees learned about the current COVID-19 situation in Africa and the response to this pandemic and Africans in Diaspora uniting against it. Moreover, the African Union Commission and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have launched a new initiative, the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT): Trace, Test & Track (CDC-T3). The partnership is to facilitate implementation of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19.
Well, those were some of the African Diaspora solutions to reduce the spread COVID-19 so far!
Here are 5 innovations from Continental Africa to read about:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony K Ansah, Jr., M.P.A. is a self-published author and a social entrepreneur based in Rhode Island, U.S.A. He has written and published several books and content via poems, quotes, fiction, non-fiction, blogs, and articles.
His new book, Diary of a Ghanaian Diaspora Entrepreneur 3.0 can be found in text @ www.amazon.com/dp/B0871PJN4C & audio @ www.audiofrica.com/set/12-d-g-d-e-progress-revolving-around-african-business-innovations.
Tony has also received national & international recognition from Face2Face Africa, Modern Ghana, The African, Ghana News Online, SDG Philanthropy Platform and Alliance Magazine (just to name a few) for his articles about African business, culture, and philanthropy.