Given the great need for medical supplies and equipment in Africa to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, he called on the international community to cooperate while the continent itself is increasing its manufacturing in this area.
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa said at a virtual meeting with African leaders on Wednesday afternoon as the African Union (AU) chairman.
“In our interaction with our international partners, we called on them to immediately lift the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan so that they can respond properly to the pandemic and save lives,” he said.
The leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal and Zimbabwe, as well as senior representatives of the AU and the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention attended the meeting.
Ramaphosa called on African leaders to work together in unity and solidarity in the fight against the pandemic.
The president says he has been talking to various world leaders for the first time. These include United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, World Bank President David Malpass,
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization.
“I also wrote letters to various world leaders asking for international assistance to Africa and asking them to be our partners in our Covid-19 strategy. I also addressed the G20 virtual conference. “
Ramaphosa said an economic injection would help Africa tackle the humanitarian crisis and the recovery of the continent’s economy.
“Overall, the response I received from world leaders was very positive.”
Dr. Donald Kaberuka (Rwanda), Tidjane Thiam (Senegal) and Trevor Manuel, a former South African finance minister, have been appointed as special envoys of the AU to seek financial support for Africa’s Covid-19 campaign.
“The coronavirus does not respect national borders and if the continent does not cooperate, we will not be able to curb the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said.