Resurrection—The Reemergence of International Law
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, regular citizens who are not usually interested in global politics and foreign policy are wondering if international law is binding and can be used to bring Russia back to adhering to the rules-based international order of the world, that foreign policy experts and international relations experts keep referring to Well, it is complicated.
International law is a set of agreements and customs that most countries follow most of the time. These agreements cover the rights and duties of states regarding war, human rights, trade and diplomacy. But this is not the only area the law covers. International law can be custom or written.
International law can be complicated because there is no single authority that can enforce the law. Because of this massive problem, states have to be willing for the international court of justice to provide jurisdiction and only then will there be a case to enact the court’s ruling.
Even with this issue, international law is still very important because territorial integrity and human rights are protected under international law. it offers a common standard of behaviour across the world even with difficulties in enforcement. It also offers a means of measuring progress in jurisdictions in areas such as international trade, human development global warming nuclear non-proliferation and international property rights.
Whereas the best achievements of international law have been in the areas of human rights and migration, across the west courts have consistently referred to the rulings of the grand chamber of the European court as authoritative.
With all areas of law challenges arise with implementation so international law is not unique in that matter but to say international law is useless because of the very obvious challenges is an oversimplification of the matter and disregards the achievements international law has had in our world.
COVID-19 in Africa
This article will outline the timeline of the Coronavirus pandemic in Africa, examine its associated challenges and consider collaboration and public private partnerships as the ideal approach to combatting pandemics of this kind going forward.
The first case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was confirmed in Africa by the Minister of Health and Population of Egypt, Dr. Hala Zayed on 14 February 2020. The lessons learnt from the response to the 2014–16 Ebola virus disease epidemic has proven extremely useful in combating the COVID-19 pandemic across the continent. However, despite the framework for combatting epidemics, Africa as well as the rest of the world have suffered greatly from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, governments have taken extraordinary steps, such as instituting nationwide lockdowns and blocking borders, activating incident management response systems, and mobilizing frontline health professionals to prevent the virus from spreading further. These measures, have slowed economic activity and commerce, and affecting global supply lines.
Indeed, the COVID-19 epidemic has highlighted the vulnerability of healthcare systems in Africa such as lack of health infrastructure, along with declining spending in healthcare over the years,.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) predicts that the health crisis will have a greater impact on global trade than the 2008-09 financial crisis.
Worryingly for Africa, the pandemic has struck just as significant progress was made towards the attainment of their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It has not only tested healthcare systems but has affected development goals related to education, gender equality, and eradicating hunger. Essentially, COVID-19 has the potential to jeopardise such accomplishments. Therefore, it is imperative to restore and restructure healthcare systems whilst reducing economic harm. A speedy recovery will be feasible only if policymakers begin planning for the aftermath of the pandemic whilst keeping the SDG agenda in mind.
Investment in Technology
The first lesson here is for African nations to invest more in technology (such as AI, satellite imagery, drones, robotics, 3D printing, cloud computing) which would in turn create significant advances in healthcare This should entail investments in human resources as well as the development of legal and regulatory frameworks to control the use of these technologies. This will stimulate financial investment and develop entrepreneurship while also facilitating innovation for African nations. If applied responsibly and ethically, combining technology with well-established public health strategies for preventing epidemics will allow African governments to handle issues faster and more robustly. Furthermore, investment in technology would create more job opportunities and ensure that African citizens are guaranteed income and not left impoverished when hit by a crisis.
Investment in Healthcare Infrastructure
Prior to Covid19 Pandemic, Africa has a record of underfunded healthcare systems which have been criticized on the basis of not being equipped with the tools to combat health crisis. Therefore, healthcare infrastructure has to be scaled up for the African continent. To increase healthcare investment, the private sector must be included into the capacity building of healthcare systems and delivery. In France, for example, luxury company LVMH has converted its perfume factory into hand sanitizer plants. Considering time-factor and possibility of failure, public-private collaborations can help to mitigate the risk. Owing to the varying economic conditions of both nations one may argue that this was only possible due to France being a far developed nation, however, the pandemic had somewhat similar detrimental effects on both nations.
Not only does the private sector frequently have the required funding, but it is also more likely to recruit the required skills. Africa ought to strengthen public-private partnerships to enhance public healthcare systems and encourage private investment in the field through the use of preferential conditions similar to those used in Special Economic Zones. It is time for Africa to look to the future, to create regimes that will allow for more international collaboration to ensure that even the most disadvantaged people have access to healthcare, particularly medicines and vaccinations. It is critical to establish new funding channels and investigate private-sector financial strategies such as blended finance and impact investments. Public funds and corporate social responsibility (CSR) must be directed toward the construction of primary medical care facilities in rural regions. Partnership in health finance among developing nations is critical for shaping financial sector regulations and for the preparation of Africa’s healthcare systems for long-term resilience. Also, Fiscal policies must prioritise reducing negative effects on the most disadvantaged areas, such as delayed tax payments, wage subsidies, and food intervention programmes.
While COVID19 is a worldwide epidemic, this article focuses on the potential problems and lessons that this catastrophe brings for Africa. The crisis exacerbates Africa’s underlying shortcomings, which are characterised by
disorganised and inefficient institutions. These, appear as compounded socioeconomic issues such as conflict,
political insecurity, insufficient trade channels and institutions, poverty, and
inadequate health care, among others. However, the pandemic provides an opportunity for the continent to re-model itself and capitalise on convergence effects, allowing it to be on same pedestal with growing and advanced economies. Emphasis must be placed on public private partnership and collaboration going forward.
Therefore, Africans must learn to collaborate as a group or perish as individuals.
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