Digital Silk Road Assists Africa
in Combating COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads rapidly in Africa, China has strengthened the anti-contagion cooperation with African countries, enhanced the joint prevention and control with technological means, and mitigated the impacts brought by the pandemic through the digital economy, actively promoting cooperation in the development of the Digital Silk Road.
Sharing experiences online and deploying against the virus offline. Chinese medical experts have held online video conferences, the main means for information communication and policy consultation during the pandemic, with the AU health ministers and CDC personnel, to share their experiences in the areas of virus surveillance, clinical diagnosis, close contact tracking, temporary treatment centers construction, Chinese medicine treatment and big data application. Up to present, 48 African countries have rolled out community-based prevention and control plans and 51 African countries have built laboratory testing capacity.
Developing the digital economy to mitigate the pandemic shocks. In face of the frustrated traditional consumption, African companies are shifting their business to online model. Online education, online health care, online life services, online games, social media, and smart service platforms are experiencing fast development. The pandemic has witnessed the significant growth of African e-commerce platforms, with many well-sold African agricultural products favored by Chinese consumers. Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary General and UNECA Executive Secretary, recently said at an online sharing session on the theme of “Digital Battle against COVID-19” that digital technology had driven the prosperity of cross-border e-commerce in Africa and played a huge role in the fight against the pandemic in Africa.