Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat said coronavirus pamdemic has exposed Africa’s weaknesses and amplified the fragilities of its externally-oriented state of economies.Speaking the 37th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union on Tuesday, Mahamat said COVID-19 pandemic has exposed Africa’s industries’ inabilities to produce goods and services, crucial to save lives such as the production of medicines, test kits, masks, single-use or multiple-use suits, respirators, ICU beds.
Most of these essentials, he noted, were either received as donations or imported, signaling increased dependency with its spillover effects on the foreign currency outflow.
“This health crisis is, therefore, an opportunity for a well thought-out and resolute reorientation of our manufacturing capacities by giving priority to import substitution, at a time when we are preparing to operationalise the African Continental Free Trade Area”, he stated.
The two-day ministerial meeting deliberated at length on the progress and intensification of actions aimed at peace, security, development and integration as articulated in Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The Chairperson of the Executive Council of the African Union Dr. Naledi Pandor said that African countries have made huge strides in containing the spread of coronavirus infection
The chairperson who is also Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa said the continent under the COVID-19 pandemic requires continuing to take bold and decisive steps in fighting the pandemic in a collective and coordinated approach.
“The gains that we have achieved thus far in the successful implementation of the Joint AU Continental Strategy should galvanize us as the Continent to continue to pool our resources until the scourge is defeated and beyond” the minister said.
Minister Naledi observed that the ongoing conflict in Africa remains a serious cause for concern for the continent.
She added that together with the other related threats such as climate change, droughts, extreme levels of poverty and increasing numbers of unemployment, which continue to hamper development in the continent, must be addressed with the urgency and vigor they deserve, including the allocation of adequate and reliable resources to finance the activities of the Union.