Evacuate African Students from Wuhan, Hubei

Evacuate African Students from Wuhan, Hubei

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Kopo Oromeng started this petition to African Union and

As of February 5th, 2020, the death toll from the Wuhan Corona Virus outbreak had exceeded 500 people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already declared the outbreak a global health emergency, acknowledging the uncertainties and global risk it will pose. Wuhan City, a metropolitan of over 11 million people has been put on lockdown in an effort to contain the novel Coronavirus 2019-nCov. Details of dwindling medical supplies, ghost towns, and overcrowded hospitals point to a city in crisis. The Hubei province also happens to host a little over 21,000 international students, nearly 4,600 of whom are African (Development Reimagined). Wuhan City, the epicenter of the virus is estimated to have over 100 students from 15 African countries. Many of them remain quarantined, in their dormitories, struggling to acquire masks, food, and water.

While Japan, the USA, France, Seychelles, and Egypt have managed to evacuate their citizens from the epicenter. Many Sub-Saharan African countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, and all of the Southern African countries (with the exception of Seychelles) have failed to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan. The first African to be diagnosed with the illness, a 21-year old male Cameroonian student at Yangtze University might be the first of many young Africans who are in the way of danger. The physical and emotional trauma of living in constant fear, suddenly having limited freedom and having to consider never seeing home again on a daily basis is also already taking a toll on these students. Leaving these young people hung out to dry is a betrayal of the Pan-African principles on which the AU was founded and a betrayal of the future of our continent.

Young African people deserve better than this.  Will they continue on with their education following this, or will many return home? How will life look like after the disease is contained? These students are not the disease, they're black, young bodies that have been stranded for far too long in a foreign land. 

Our collective voice is necessary for catalyzing governments, the African Union and Africa CDC to prioritize the evacuation of African students from Wuhan. This petition is a call to action for the AU and its member states' foreign ministries to come together, to pool their resources and stand for the future of the continent by evacuating African students from Wuhan. The AU's Agenda 2063 detail their aspirations to form "An integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism". The AU needs to reflect this by presenting a politically united front to tackle this global pandemic, and prioritizing young African lives. Let your response to the coronavirus portray the power of a united continent that we as Africans all so wish to see. The AU has long forsaken the strength that lies in her member states' collective action and stand for the African people. What does the AU stand for, if it cannot stand for the lives of black young students at a time of need? The Africa CDC, which now has the financial means, after receiving a $5 million pledge from the Gates Foundation, has to arrange post-evacuation facilities and medical supplies.

Evacuate African students from Wuhan!

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