Editor’s Note: Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak is a professor of economics at Yale University and Rifaiyat Mahbub is the program manager of the Yale Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN.
Epidemiologists had expected weak health systems in Africa to crumble under the weight of Covid-19. Eight months into the pandemic, Africa with a population of 1.3 billion, reported nearly 1.8 million Covid infections, while the US, on its way to its third peak, has reported more than nine million cases.
While some of this low reporting could be attributed to poor testing, Africa as a continent appears to have handled the pandemic more effectively than the US has.
As of November 1, Rwanda and Senegal, for example, have reported 0.28 and 2.04 Covid deaths per 100,000 people respectively, while the corresponding number for the US is a staggering 70.4.
Rwandans are now allowed to travel to Europe, while Americans remain prohibited.