Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has stressed the need to protect and prioritise Africa’s medical sector through adequate funding, to ensure availability of medical and preventive supplies.
Al-Sisi’s statements came during the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping, on Wednesday.
The summit, held via video link, was attended by several African leaders, led by South African President and current African Union (AU) Chair Cyril Ramaphosa. It was jointly proposed by China, South Africa, the rotating AU Chairperson, and Senegal, the co-chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Al-Sisi highlighted the need for assistance in building and equipping hospitals, in light of the current limited availability of resources in Africa. He also addressed the economic and social impacts of pandemics, such as the coronavirus (COVID-19).
He called for concerted international efforts to support developing countries, especially in Africa, whilst also elevating the accumulated debt burden through exemption or rescheduling. This would help developing countries prepare economic incentive packages and preserve their development gains.
Al-Sisi said the summit is a testimony to the political will to push forward African-Chinese relations, and Africa’s continued determination to effectively deal with the coronavirus.
He highlighted that cooperation with an international partner, China, is essential for the pursuit of mutual benefits between the two sides.
The president stressed that Egypt would spare no efforts supporting supporting the implementation of the summit’s outcome to assist in the fight against the coronavirus. At the same time, Al-Sisi noted that Egypt would work extensively to cushion the negative impacts of the virus on Africa’s peoples and economies.
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