• Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Let Keita be released-AU leaders.

Byflorence wairimu

Aug 21, 2020

African Head of State have condemned Tuesday military coup in Mali during which the president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was seized by mutinying soldiers.

African Union Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, the leaders called for the immediate release of President Keita and senior members of his administration among them the country’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse.

President Uhuru Kenyatta urged for a “speedy, peaceful and democratic” resolution of crisis while President Ramaphosa called for dialogue to restore peace and stability in West African countries. DRC president Felix Tshisekedi, rallied African countries to take a firm position on the matter of saying the coup was ‘dangerous for democracy in Africa.’

Head of state spoke on Thursday evening during a virtual meeting of African Union Bureau convened to discuss continental response to covid-19 pandemic. The meeting was also attended by representatives of Regional Economic Communities, African special envoys on Covid-19 and the Director of Africa CDC Dr John Nkengasong.

Dr Nkengasong’s report informed leaders that despite crossing the 1 million mark of Covid-19 infections, Africa in the last two weeks has witnessed reduction of 37% of daily infections of Coronavirus. He said that seven Covid-19 vaccine trials were nearing World Health Organization [WHO] approval.

Dr Nkengasong added and said that Africa targets to vaccinate 60% of her population at an estimated cost of 10 to 15 billion USD once Covid-19 vaccine becomes available.

In the report represented by Rwandan economist Donald Kaberuka and Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa, envoys applauded the IMF for being the most responsive bilateral institution to Africa’s Coronavirus response.

Mr. Kaberuka said that the lender had injected a total of USD 23.5billion into African economies in last four months, followed by World Bank with 14.3 billion USD and African Development Bank with 700 million USD. Former President of the African Development Bank said covid-19 risks are wiping out a decade of Africa’s economic progress and warned that in the next three to four years will be much tough for the continent.

Masiyiwa said a total of 51 countries had subscribed to Africa Medical Supplies Platform. Among the nations, six Carribean countries led by Barbados. The platform has attracted 800 suppliers including eleven African manufacturers offering 600 products, including key Covid-19 medicines recommended by WHO.

In President Kenyatta’s address, he said that Africa needs to elevate its global partnership in search of vaccine so as to ensure that African countries are not further marginalized but are positioned to be among first line of beneficiaries once breakthrough is approved. He also commended the special envoys for their efforts in helping continent deal with the health and socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19.

Kenyatta added and said that ‘economic challenges we face require concerted multilateral effort, such as prioritizing debt cancellation and Bretton Woods led relief package, which do not exacerbate emerging local challenges.

Paul Kagame and Filipe Nyusi of Rwanda and Mozambique respectively who were speaking on behalf of East African Community [EAC] and Southern African Development Community [SADC] emphasized on need to ensure that Africa is not left behind in roll out of Covid-19 vaccine when ready.

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