Morocco pleads for African solidarity to address COVID-19 pandemic
Morocco has pleaded for African solidarity to address the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed its firm commitment to the principle of this solidarity to protect the African continent and help eradicate the pandemic.
The plea was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, in an address before the 40th session of the Executive Council of the African Union, convening at the headquarters of the pan-African organization in Addis Ababa feb.2-3.
“The ambition is to create an integrated Africa and a collective vision on all levels, including political and economic ones. A welded and united Africa,” said Bourita who leads the Moroccan delegation to the Executive Council session.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has plunged the world into its greatest economic slump. At a time when Africa was living at the pace of unbridled globalization, the pandemic has stopped its momentum and continues to immobilize the world as new variants emerge, the minister said.
In addition to its socio-economic impact, this pandemic has proved that when health security is at risk, all sectors are at stake, and that there is no global security without health security, noted Bourita, adding that Africa has shown resilience, combativeness and adaptability following the outbreak of this health crisis, by devising strategies to limit the socio-economic impact of this scourge on African economies.
“Today, African solidarity is needed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on African economies,” he said, recalling in this context that King Mohammed VI took the initiative to provide medical aid to more than twenty African countries from the five regions of the Continent to support their efforts in the fight against the pandemic and mitigate its effects on their economies.
He also recalled the launch on January 27, 2022, of the construction of a manufacturing plant for Covid-19 and other vaccines, a structuring project that will ultimately contribute to ensuring the sovereignty of vaccines in the Kingdom and the African continent as a whole.
The Minister underlined that since the emergence of the pandemic, Morocco was among the first countries to convert its industry to meet national and continental health needs by manufacturing masks, antiseptic gels and other health equipment all Made in Morocco. The Kingdom has not only taken strict and rapid health and security measures but has also made financial compensation efforts to support the population with mitigation measures, both in the formal and informal economic sectors.
Bourita emphasized the imperative for African countries to join individual and collective efforts to ensure the manufacturing of vaccines in Africa and proceed with the vaccination of all the African populations.
“Morocco reiterates its support to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) of the African Union and commends the tremendous work done by the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team in securing millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines to our Continent,” he said.
Bourita who also highlighted the role played by the African diaspora in helping fight effectively the pandemic and in supporting financially the continent through their remittances, urged the African Union to develop a common vision and to interact with its partners to address the socio-economic challenges triggered by the pandemic.
During a debate on the Progress Report on the operationalization of Africa CDC, Bourita insisted that the issue of health security must remain at the top of the priorities of the African continent.
“Our Continent needs, more than ever, a strong specialized Health Agency, endowed with a clear and coherent structure and with all the means allowing it to act immediately on health emergencies threatening our Continent”, he said.