Kagame, AU leaders discuss Africa’s COVID-19 response
President Paul Kagame said Friday he held a productive conference with other African Union leaders, which discussed the need for a robust response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The virtual meeting, which was chaired by the AU Chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, highlighted the importance of Africa coming together and speaking with one voice in dealing with the consequences of COVID-19.
The Rwandan leader is the Chairperson of the African Union Development Agency- New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC).
Kagame said on twitter that the meeting emphasised the need for Africa to “work through our institutions to mobilise resources and harmonise the support from international partners.”
As of Friday, the continent had reported 7,123 COVID-19 cases, 289 deaths, and 592 recoveries, according to the Africa Centre for Disease Control.
The pandemic has brought businesses to a halt, stopped travel and tourism, and disrupted global supply chains, causing economic shocks across the continent and elsewhere in the world.
Other leaders who participated in the meeting included Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali, and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt.
Others are Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and AU Commission Chair Moussa Faki.
The meeting was also attended by President Emmanuel Macron of France, whom Kagame described as a “good partner for Africa”, and WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The meeting stressed the urgency and need to materialise all commitments swiftly and flexibly, Kagame said.
“Through coordinated action, we can succeed in mitigating the health and economic impact of COVID19 on our population,” he tweeted on Friday night.
The President stressed that the loss of and damage to life and economy globally and particularly in Africa is “colossal” and so must be the amounts of energy and financial packages to bring things back to normal and beyond”.
He commended the role African institutions like the African Development Board and Afreximbank have played to provide timely response to the African countries that have been hit by the new coronavirus.