Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi participated in a virtual mini-summit on Friday to discuss efforts to combat the coronavirus in Africa, presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady said on Friday.
Several African leaders attended the meeting, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
During the mini-summit, Al-Sisi stressed the importance of continuing international efforts to put into effect decisions to help Africa deal with the pandemic. This is especially with regards to mobilising the finance and providing international assistance to face the economic, social and health repercussions of the crisis.
The African leaders approved Al-Sisi’s suggestion to address international partners and global financial institutions under the umbrella of the African Union (AU). It is hoped the move would achieve focus on specific priorities that urgently serve the continent’s needs, Rady said.
They also urged for contributions from the private sector and businessmen for Africa’s efforts against the coronavirus efforts under AU sponsorship. The leaders agreed to invite the remaining African countries who did not take part in the discussions to make possible contributions to the continental anti-COVID-19 Fund, approved during the 26 March mini-summit.
The mini-summit also stressed the importance of boosting laboratory and clinical capabilities in African countries whislt providing safe paths for transporting necessary goods and medical supplies. Also on the agenda was the development of a coordination mechanism between national epidemic control centres to exchange best practices and experiences. It was also suggested for an invitation to be extended to China to prioritise supporting African efforts in this regard.
The summit aimed to follow up on the outcome of the 26 March pan-African summit on dealing with the African repercussions of the coronavirus. That meeting also sought to determine the continent’s priorities in combating the virus in coordination with international partners. The talks also included consultations on the recent G20 Summit results and the coordination between countries on African needs.