African leaders have been urged to be wary of donations from China in the form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and medical supplies as the COVID-19 global pandemic takes a toll on the continent.
This follows widespread reports of faulty and contaminated Chinese PPEs across the world.
There have been several reports of various countries including Australia, United Kingdom, Spain, Holland and Czech Republic rejecting a range of products meant to fight COVID-19 from China.
Mrs Theodosia Jackson, Principal of Jackson College of Education who made the call in a statement, said Africa must subject such donations to strict scrutiny to avert further spread of the virus.
She said the rejection of certain Chinese PPEs in some parts of Europe must serve as a red flag for African leaders to be cautious in accepting donations from the Asian giant.
“All that glitter is not gold. Much as we need support to manage the pandemic, we must not endanger the lives of our people”, she cautioned.
She believes there is a sinister motive by the Chinese and some western countries to undermine the sovereignty of Africa and continue to manipulate the continent to satisfy their parochial interests.
Mrs Jackson is also appalled by the suggestion by two French scientists that a coronavirus vaccine they are working on should be tested in Africa.
“Such level of disrespect to Africans must be a source of worry for African leaders to sit up and vigorously pursue an agenda to restore our dignity,” she bemoaned.
She applauded the Director General of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for the swift manner he condemned the statement by the two scientists.
She said Africa had been treated with contempt for far too long and urged heads of states on the continent to unite to build a prosperous and independent Africa capable of managing its own affairs.
“Africa has no excuse to be poor with all the natural resources at our disposal. It is time for African leaders to begin to explore how best to harness our resources to make the continent self-sufficient,” she opined.
The overwhelming nature of the virus, she noted, is a wake-up call for African leaders to build the capacity of indigenous companies to meet local needs of the people in terms of production.
This, she said, would not only create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth but also improve the economy to enable the continent wean itself of foreign aid.