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Egypt's Sisi discusses Africa's anti-coronavirus efforts in virtual summit
Published in Ahram Online on 04 - 04 - 2020

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi participated on Friday in a mini-summit via video conferencing with a number of African counterparts and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to discuss anti-coronavirus efforts in Africa.
The mini-summit brought together Sisi, Macron, Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom, South African President and 2020 Chairman of the African Union Cyril Ramaphosa, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, DR Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi.
It also saw the participation of Senegalese President Macky Sall, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki and Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) John Nkengasong.
The summit aimed to follow up the outcome of March 26 summit among African leaders regarding ways to cope with repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic on African states, determine the continent's priorities to combat the virus in coordination with international partners and consult on the recent G20 Summit's results and coordination with its countries on the African needs, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.
El-Sisi generally welcomed key points from the recent G20 Leaders' Declaration, stressing the importance of continuing efforts exerted with the group's member states and international partners to put into effect decisions to help Africa deal with the pandemic, especially with regard to mobilizing finance and providing international assistance to face the economic, social and health repercussions of the coronavirus crisis, he added.
The African leaders approved El-Sisi's suggestion to address international partners and global financial institutions in an institutional framework under the umbrella of the African Union to achieve a focus on specific effective priorities that urgently serve the continent's needs, the spokesman said.
He asserted that counter-terrorism efforts in Africa constitute an additional burden in the coming stage in light of the efforts exerted to combat the coronavirus in the continent.
The leaders agreed to invite the remaining African countries to make possible contributions to the continental anti-COVID-19 Fund, which was approved during the March 26 mini-summit, as well as to support Africa CDC's efforts.
They also urged private sector and businessmen to contribute to anti-coronavirus efforts in the continent under the AU umbrella.
The mini-summit also stressed the importance of boosting laboratory and clinical capabilities in African countries, providing safe paths for transporting necessary goods and medical supplies, developing a coordination mechanism between national epidemic control centers to exchange best practices and experiences, as well as inviting China to prioritize supporting African efforts in this regard.

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