French Diplomatic Note: Coronavirus May Cause African States to Collapse

People walk along a main road wearing face masks at Yaba in Lagos, on February 28, 2020. - Residents of Nigeria's economic hub Lagos scrambled for hygiene products after the chaotic megacity of 20 million announced the first confirmed case of new coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa. Health Minister Osagie Ehanire …

A leaked French diplomatic note has claimed that outbreaks of Chinese coronavirus in Africa could lead to the collapse of regimes in various countries across the continent.

Currently, coronavirus cases across Africa remain low in comparison to Europe, North America, and Asia, but experts predict that a severe outbreak of the disease could have catastrophic effects.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomatic note, which was obtained by the Agence Ecofin news agency,  states that some African states have health systems that would be “saturated automatically”.

The note goes on to states that elderly African leaders are at serious risk and if they become infected, it could lead to severe political instability in countries ruled by political strongmen.

The French ministry states that four groups can help calm potential panic among the public and help stabilise the region in the case of a mass outbreak.

The first group mentioned are religious leaders, then members of European diasporas, followed by popular celebrities and artists, and finally “economic entrepreneurs and neo-liberal businessmen.”

“Rich and globalized, they position themselves as the continent’s philanthropists: they can play a role if they decide to commit their means or to be an intermediary between the system of governance and Africa, but in any case, they will mark the state’s failure,” the note reads.

Mass panic and governmental collapse could also lead to a massive flow of migrants likely to head to the West.

In previous years, many leading politicians have predicted that Europe could see millions of African migrants arrive in the coming years, including former European Parliament president Antonio Tajani in 2017.

“If the problem of Africa is not tackled—drought, malnutrition—we will have millions and millions and Africans pushing (to enter Europe) and dams and walls will not be sufficient (to hold them back),” Tajani said.

Others, such as previous European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, have welcomed the idea of millions of new African migrants, saying the EU member states “have to provide [Africans] who want to come, and are able to come, and whose situation makes it possible for them to come, with legal paths to get to Europe.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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