Africa: Covid-19 Reinforcing the Trend of ‘Extreme Nationalism’ From Canberra to Pretoria

Across the globe, the pandemic has reinforced extreme nationalism, unrestrained racism and xenophobia. This trend is prevalent in many societies, from advanced nations of the North to developing countries of the South.

On 9 March 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa used a network meeting with global leaders and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to reinforce his view on the resurgence of “extreme nationalism” across the globe since the outbreak of Covid-19. He rightly accused the wealthy countries of hoarding vaccines.

It wasn’t the first time Ramaphosa had spoken out for Africa’s “voiceless” people. In January 2021, as “vaccine nationalism” became rampant across the globe, he repeatedly shared his disdain for the increasing hoarding of vaccines and the gross inequality of access. Many European countries and other wealthy nations, including the US, have been monopolising the distribution of vaccines to the detriment of poorer countries.

As Ramaphosa noted, wealthy countries have enormous buying power, while African countries such as South Africa are struggling to negotiate for the required quantities of vaccines for their populations, particularly essential workers and older people. Indeed, the scramble for Covid-19 vaccines has become one of the most divisive activities across the globe since the beginning of 2021….

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