Statement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the report on the progress of the African Union response on COVID-19 pandemic in Africa; 34th Ordinary Session of the African Union [6 and 7 February 2021]
Your Excellency Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chairperson African Union;
Your Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Outgoing Chair of the African Union;
Heads of State and Government of the African Union;
Allow me to convey sincere condolences to all of you, Your Excellencies for the sad losses you have endured in your respective countries due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
I further commend the outgoing Chair of our Union, His Excellency Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, and President of the Republic of South Africa for his exemplary and sterling work in leading our Continental body.
His innovative and responsive approach in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our Continent is admirable.
Today our organisation boasts of elaborate, well-coordinated and effective new initiatives towards combating the spread of the pandemic.
This demonstrates the power of our solidarity, cooperation and unity which can be traced to our rich culture and heritage as a Continent.
I warmly congratulate you, Your Excellency President Félix Tshisekedi for your assumption of Chairmanship of the African Union.
You can count on Zimbabwe’s support during your tenure of office.
My country appreciates the critical role and efforts of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) and the African Union Special Envoys to procure vaccines.
Efforts by the private sector and other stakeholders to mobilise and set up platforms on which Member States of the Union can procure the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), diagnostic equipment and vaccines are equally commendable.
We also hail the Afreximbank which will avail financial facilities to enable countries to purchase their Covid-19 contingencies.
I concur with the proposal for more robust strategies to deal with future pandemics and the need to strengthen and review statutes of the Africa-Centre for Diseases Control to enable it to fully perform its task.
I equally support the call for Africa to develop our own pharmaceutical industry drawing from our rich heritage based scientific knowledge and competent scientists.
Zimbabwe further supports calls for the establishment of the Africa Medicine Agency (AMA).
I thank you