06 May 2021 11:27 AM

Statement by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at the Assembly of the Bureau of the African Union Summit

Wednesday، 17 February 2021 - 12:00 AM

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

Dear Brother, Your Excellency, President Felix Tshisekedi, President of Brotherly Democratic Republic of Congo and Chairperson of the African Union,

Your Excellences, Chairpersons of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union,

Dear Friend, Your Excellency, President Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic of France, it gives me great pleasure to meet your Excellences,

My Brother Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

           It gives me great pleasure to congratulate His Excellency, President Felix Tshisekedi, President of Brotherly Democratic Republic of Congo, once again on his assumption of the presidency of the AU. I hope him success in his duties during this difficult period that is full of various challenges, on top of which are the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. I also would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to His Excellency, Brother Cyril Ramaphosa for his respected effort exerted over the past period towards the coronavirus pandemic file, seeking to mitigate its effects and trying to provide vaccines to the African countries.

         I would also like to welcome members of our esteemed Bureau in the first meeting in its new form under President Tshisekedi’s leadership.  Furthermore, I would be remiss if I failed to congratulate my brother, Moussa Faki on his re-election for a second term of office, which reflects member states’ confidence in his wise leadership to advance our joint African agenda.

Let me also specialize my thanks to His Excellency President “Tshisekedi”, for the kind invitation to this important meeting, to continue our joint efforts to deal with the effects and repercussions of the “Corona” virus with its huge challenge and unprecedented threat to health systems, security and development both regionally and internationally. I also welcome the participation of President “Emmanuel Macron” and his interest in continuing coordination with us to support the efforts of the health and medical systems in Africa. This is in order to combat the pandemic, and to provide the African countries the opportunity to obtain “Corona” virus vaccines in a fair and urgent manner away from any political considerations especially before the convening of the Group of seven “G7”. This gives the meeting an increasing importance in the light of the urgent and necessary need to mobilize the international funding and logistical support to face the economic, social and health repercussions of the “Corona” virus. This meeting also takes into account the special conditions facing the African countries and to focus on specific and effective priorities to serve the continent’s needs quickly and in a comprehensive institutional framework under our pan-African umbrella.

Your Excellences, the challenges which the "Corona" pandemic imposes have become a daily reality that affects our tireless efforts to drive the locomotive of the joint African action. Undoubtedly, this pandemic represents a great challenge before our African continent; thus requiring further solidarity and cooperation between our peoples and our government so as to control its spread and limit its negative repercussions. This can only take place through mutual coordination along with harnessing all energies to find effective and innovative solutions and arrangements that allow overcoming the difficulty of the current circumstances and establish an effective strategy to eradicate the pandemic through providing its vaccines, as such eradication will only take place through  providing the vaccine for all Peoples.

This pandemic revealed the need to link the fair distribution of vaccines with the issue of strengthening health systems, as it showed the extent of disparity between the health systems all over the world, with varying degrees, so that the decisive element remains the ability to recover and restore the required balance, thus enabling the health systems to perform their role in caring for the public health and its impact on achieving local, regional and global economic recovery, which, in turn, is related to the available capabilities, not only within each country but also trans borders.

In this sense, I would like to emphasize the need to focus our discussion on the following points:

First: It is substantial to ensure that the African continent received an adequate share of vaccines at preferential prices to meet the needs of our peoples. This is done in line with ongoing consultations with international companies developing vaccines to cooperate in their production at the continental level. The pandemic has demonstrated the impact of the problems pertinent to production capabilities on issues related to the equitable distribution of medicines and vaccines. Accordingly, this confirms that the enhancement of local production capabilities is inevitable to enable the states to respond to any health emergencies. This paves the way for a serious discussion on issues of technology transfer and localization in the health sector.

Second: It is of paramount importance to create a continental framework to obtain licenses for vaccine production and distribution, as well as to provide relevant sources of funding needed.

Third: It is consequential to strengthen the role of national health institutions treating infectious and non-communicable diseases and to support scientific research mechanisms in healthcare sectors. This is achieved in an effort to develop local production of vaccines, pharmaceutical products and diagnostic requirements, as well as to enhance human work force investment in the health sector.

Fourth: Despite the efforts of several parties to find mechanisms to provide vaccines, treatments and other medical products, in order to face the pandemic, the world witnesses competition to reach vaccines that were urgently developed to face the pandemic, indicating the seriousness of the dimensions of this interconnected relationship.

Your excellences, Heads of State and Government, Egypt valued all the initiatives that aim at ensuring fair distribution of the vaccines in all the countries of the world, to the appropriate extent and timing. We are aware of the extent of the effort exerted in this regard, especially under the umbrella of the African working group concerned with providing vaccines to countries of the continent, as well as the system for facilitating the availability of vaccines known as "Kovacs", which came as a result of international cooperation and multilateral efforts to overcome the pandemic by securing efforts to ensure that everyone benefits from the vaccines that were reached in a fair and equitable manner. Therefore, we highlight the importance of international solidarity to bridge the financing gap, in order to avoid more delay in the availability of vaccines, and equitable distribution of vaccines in the appropriate size and timing, in order to accelerate the global recovery process.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that Egypt will spare no effort to harness its potentials for its African brothers so as to have Corona virus vaccines, bearing in mind all Egyptian experiences and potentials that will support the African Union strategy to have the vaccines so as to end up this pandemic together with its negative drawbacks.

We should all keep in mind the African nation’s hopes and aspirations  that depend on us to provide the vaccines in a way that pushes development  normally so as to realize progress aspired by our African continent.

May the Peace and Mercy of Allah be Upon you

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