We are living through a decisive moment. The COVID-19 pandemic’s devasting impact is reaching every corner of the world. As we look back at this period, we will see history divided into a pre-COVID and a post-COVID world.
In rebuilding after COVID-19, policymakers must invest in innovative technology to leapfrog obstacles to inclusive development. Africa has enjoyed strong economic growth for most of the 21st century, mainly because of robust global demand for primary commodities.
Recently, both Republics of Benin and Chad held their 2021 national elections. These countries are among thirteen countries
on the continent billed to elect new political leaders in 2021 alone. This is a good opportunity to improve conditions on the continent. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified other issues on the continent like youth unemployment that better leadership could help improve.
There is considerable evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk and severity of COVID-19 (Mercola 2020
; Wimalawansa, 2020
). More than 50 clinical studies have published confirming that high doses of vitamin D administered early in persons with COVID-19 significantly reduce complications and the need for ICU admissions.
Children all over the world are having tough times while coping with the consequences of the pandemic but the circumstances affecting them in the Philippines are even more daunting.
Since the COVID-19 vaccination began in the US in mid-December 2020, Africa had been looking forward to its turn. For Nigeria, that time came on 2nd March 2021 when the first batch of 3.9 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the country from the Serum Institute of India.
If you enter a garment factory in India, or any part of the world for that matter, you will see that the workforce is starkly female. The Indian textile and garment industry employs 45 million people
, out of which more than 60 percent are women
. This makes it the biggest formal employer of women in a country where 80 percent
of them are not engaged in paid work. While that might paint a rosy picture of women’s empowerment at the first glance, a closer look reveals something different.
The lockdowns and illnesses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically increased the need to care for children, the elderly and the sick. And in societies where gender inequality and biased norms persist, most of this burden has fallen on women, many of whom have had to leave their regular jobs with no idea of when they can return.
Have you ever heard of a workers’ strike or similar labour action for press freedom? And how long do you think it lasted? A day? A week? A month? And where and when do you think this happened?
Workers strike for press freedom
Six decades ago, in 1961, Said Zahari
, the editor of the Malay language daily, Utusan Melayu
, led a strike of journalists and other employees. The protracted strike, in both Malaysia and Singapore today, was for press freedom rather than employee welfare.
More than a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, food and nutrition security continues to show its fragility.
Every time a woman journalist receives threats of physical and sexual violence, cyber attacks and surveillence, doxxing, public humiliation, damage to her professional & personal credibility, the driving forces behind these intents are deeply rooted misogyny, sexism and abuse of power.
Human Rights Watch’s 27 April report, A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution
, could also have been entitled Better Late Than Never
When Myanmar’s military seized power from the elected government in February, one of its first actions
was to further squeeze the already restricted free flow of information in the country. It obstructed news stations, temporarily shuttered phone and internet access, and blocked social media platforms.
We were able to keep the coronavirus at bay for five months in Gaza, the densely populated Palestinian strip of land surrounded by Israel that I call home. But the Coronavirus doesn’t respect walls or artificial borders. While preparations were made for the pandemic to inevitably breach a blockade so few Palestinians can, we waited for it to come for us. And it did.
Edmund Burke called the press the fourth estate, the fourth pillar of democracy, with an oversight role on the remaining three pillars – the legislature, executive and the judiciary. In an ideal world, this fourth estate would have unimpeded access to the other three pillars so that the citizenry could be kept informed at all times. This freedom was conceived to be so sacrosanct that many countries have included it as a fundamental right, e.g., the US Constitution enshrined it as the very first amendment.
Access to accurate information is vitally important during the pandemic, so that people can understand how to protect themselves and their families, and to hold their governments to account for their response to the health emergency.
Spyware’s repeated use to target journalists and those close to them poses an existential threat to the privacy required for press freedom to flourish. Without the ability to privately communicate with sources, conduct research, and compile information, journalists are hampered in their ability to keep the public informed and hold the powerful to account.
The SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) affected the entire world; many died, millions got sick, and the misery continues. Second and third waves of SARS.Cov-2 infection are devastating most countries.
is all that you can't say.
Years gone by and still
words don't come easily,
like forgive me, forgive me.
The World Press Freedom Day
on the 3rd of May is an occasion for celebrating humanity. Language enables us to transmit our thoughts in sound – a means of communication developed through our unique brain, combined with our capacity to control lips, tongue and other components of the vocal apparatus. Over time, humans have also acquired skills to commit our language to writing.
Last week, the world marked Earth Day
– an opportunity to put the spotlight on the pressing needs of our planet, in the face of ever-growing impacts by humanity, and galvanize action to change practices and behavior. Yet these issues were not, and cannot be, addressed in a single day. Resolve and action to protect the environment is a 365 days-a-year endeavor.