Kagame points out lessons Africa learns from Covid-19 pandemic

On 2 March 2021 at 09:22

President Paul Kagame has reminisced on three major lessons; African continent should pull from Covid-19 pandemic and stressed the need to strengthen National Health Systems.

Kagame revealed this yesterday during the second summit of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development on Africa continent. The theme of this year’s Forum is “recovering stronger and building better” from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented negative effects on and slowed down economic growth on African continent and took lives of many.

Despite effects of Covid-19, Kagame highlighted lessons that African continent can learn from the pandemic to be able to stand firm in similar future situations.
“No topic is more urgent for Africa. Let me offer a few thoughts on the way forward. First, the pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of increasing domestic health financing on our continent,” he said.

“National health systems have been the backbone of pandemic response on our continent. As I highlighted in my last report to the African Union as the Champion for Domestic Health Financing, tools are available to help governments not only spend more, but spend better,” added Kagame.

Besides increasing domestic financing, the President also requested African countries to strengthen the capacity of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

“Second, Africa’s continental health institution, the Africa CDC, has proven its value during this pandemic. It has helped secure and distribute test kits and protective equipment, collected epidemiological data, and supported the collective procurement of supplies and vaccines. We must further strengthen Africa CDC to ensure its autonomy and effectiveness,” he underscored.

Kagame also urged African countries to fast track the signing and ratification of the African Medicines Agency Treaty ‘so that it comes into force, as soon as possible’.

He emphasized that Africa should support the Continental Free Trade Area expected to fast track economic recovery.

“Third, we must double down on implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area, as the key strategy for rebuilding better,” said Kagame.

“In that context, creating robust continental supply chains for pharmaceutical manufacturing is essential for Africa’s future health security. Finally, Africa should speak with one voice on the importance of global vaccine equity, both now and in the future,” he added.

President Paul Kagame has urged African countries to strengthen the capacity of Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo Village Urugwiro