The United States will endorse a motion at the World Trade Organization seeking to waive draconian patent and related intellectual property protections that have thus far prevented the world from achieving global COVID-19 vaccines equity, the Biden-Harris administration announced this week. Pope Francis announced his support of “universal access to the vaccine” and condemned the “virus of individualism” that “makes us indifferent to the suffering of others”.
Capitalism in its current form enriches mostly privileged men and sidelines marginalized groups such as people of colour, immigrants and women. We need the courage to imagine and create new solidarity economies that prioritize people and the planet over profit.
In the 1980s, while still labelling Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) political party a “typical terrorist organisation,” Margaret Thatcher's government wooed the South African apartheid regime with promises of a “Marshall Plan for southern Africa”.
There is nothing to celebrate about the US$260 million Africa recently netted by cracking down on tax avoidance. The figure pales in comparison to the billions the continent losses to "illicit financial flows" every year thanks to corporate tax avoidance by multinational corporations, corruption by African officials, and African countries' weak audit capacities.