The African Union, on Tuesday, launched a platform, Africa medical supplies platform to tackle the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Already China President Xi Jinping, has announced the debt cancellation of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020.
Ji Xinping said the debt cancellation is within the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) framework and is for those African countries that are hardest hit by the Coronavirus and are under heavy financial stress.
South African President and Chairman of AU Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, disclosed the launching of the Africa medical supplies platform at the China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19.
Ramaphosa, went on to explain that the platform is meant to enable all African countries to access critical supplies, called on China to provide diagnostic and therapeutic supplies to the continent for the next six months. This support would be managed by AfriExImBank in collaboration with its counterpart in China. This would allow several African countries to procure goods from China.”
Ramaphosa said, “As thing stand, however, many African countries are having to purchase goods with resources largely obtained from the multilateral agencies”.
He went on calling on China to support the call for the international community to avail of some unused special drawing rights of about $100 billion for Africa. “We urge China to support and contribute to this call, or to propose alternative options that can be considered on an urgent basis to help support the private sector.”
Speaking at the summit, China President in his opening remark, noted that China and Africa account for nearly one-third of the global population, pledging to step up support for Africa,
He said that China will provide $2 billion over two years to support the work of WHO in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
He noted that both Africa and have withstood the test of a severe challenge and also in the face of COVID-19, China and Africa have enhanced solidarity and strengthened friendship and mutual trust.
He further said, “Let me reaffirm China’s commitment to its longstanding friendship with Africa. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China shall never waver in its determination to pursue greater solidarity and cooperation with Africa. ”
President Muhammadu Buhari, who participated in the summit urged the international community to support collaborations and initiatives aimed at sharing knowledge from research and science to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
He pledged that Nigeria would support and join any joint and collective action plan at regional and global levels to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout.
He said, ”As we face a common pervasive and invisible enemy, it is important that we all remain united to save our shared humanity because this virus knows no borders.
”The fight against a global pandemic that continues to take so many lives, threaten livelihoods and challenging the very fabric of societies, requires enhanced cooperation and worldwide solidarity.