Yet at the same time, some of the very health challenges African countries have wrestled with for decades have given us a clear understanding of what needs to be done, and how to do it.
By early May, 43 African countries had full border closures, 53 had closed institutions of learning, 54 had limited public gatherings, 26 had instituted the compulsory use of face masks, 32 had instituted night-time curfews and 18 had imposed nation-wide lockdowns
The African Union developed a comprehensive Joint Continental Strategy to guide cooperation between member states and set up a Covid-19 Response Fund.
The deployment of community health workers to do screening, testing, contact tracing and case management is happening in many African countries, and draws heavily on our experience with HIV and TB.
Whether it is in repurposing health protocols used with other infectious disease outbreaks, rapidly deploying health care workers to communities, or in launching mobile Covid-19 testing labs to improve national testing capacities, Africa is working proactively to overcome this global threat.
Though it is clear we will continue to rely on the support of the international community and international financial institutions to bolster the existing continental effort and build economic resilience, African countries are holding their own.