Reporting on African Responses to COVID-19: African Philosophical Perspectives for Addressing Quandaries in the Global Justice Debate

  • Martin Odei Ajei University of Ghana


The first case of COVID-19 infection in Africa was recorded in Egypt on 14 February 2020. Following this, several projections of the possible devastating effect that the virus can have on the population of African countries were made in the Western media. This paper presents evidence for Africa’s successful responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and under-reporting or misrepresentation of these successes in Western media. It proceeds to argue for accounting for these successes in terms of Africa’s communitarian way of life and conceptions of self, duty, and rights; and that a particular orientation in theorizing on global justice can highlight the injustices inherent in the misrepresentation of these successes and contribute shared perspectives to formulating a framework of values and concepts that would facilitate the implementation of global policy goals for justice. The paper is thus grounded in a rejection of the insular tenets of theorizing prevalent in the global justice debate and to persistent inclinations in Western scholarship to the thinking that theorizing in the African context that draws inspiration from the cultural past has little to contribute to the quest for justice globally. On the contrary, it argues that reflexive critique of cultural history is a necessary source of normative ideals that can foster tolerant coexistence and a cooperative endeavour toward shared conceptions of justice in the contemporary world.