We were sorely tempted to make the coronavirus pandemic this issue's Cover Story, because everybody seems, and rightly so, to be obsessed with it but we resisted the temptation precisely because there is so much about it in print and digital media, on the radio and across social media.
I think there is far too much talk, especially when a good deal of it is ill-informed, totally baseless and seems produced simply to confuse and alarm people. Everybody feels compelled to add their tuppence-worth--so we have religious leaders sometimes dangerously extolling the power of prayer to protect you from the virus and thus contributing to its spread; we have quacks of all kinds offering medication; we have sangomas and other traditional 'doctors' suggesting revolting remedies and worse, we have a plethora of false reports, some disguised as proper news items.
All these add to the fear, confusion and panic that seems to have gripped the world. The only authority that has a handle on the issue globally is the World Health Organisation and it makes its findings and recommendations freely available and all responsible media report on it. Please ignore all other sources.
We at IC Publications have set up an up-to-date information page on our website that will give you the most reliable information as it becomes available, to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe. (Visit the home page at www.newafricanmagazine.com for further details.)
Given the fact that many people will find themselves in social isolation during this time, we are opening up our publications, including this issue, as well as our archives, to provide you with quality reading material for free. Use the opportunity.
Africa's ignored crisis
What we have focused on, however, is another crisis in Africa that is being largely ignored by the world media because its effects so far only concern Africa. This is the reign of terror by the likes of al-Qaeda and ISIS and their extremist affiliates in the Sahel and parts of West and Central Africa. We have turned our full spotlight on this orgy of violence in the hope that the good and the great in Africa and among the many forces involved in the conflict will come up with a solution to silence the guns. This is one crisis that is caused by human agency and which can be solved tomorrow--also...