Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa urges African govts to build pharmaceutical companies

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on Africa states to develop a continental pharmaceutical industry that will address future pandemics.

The president was addressing other heads of state and government of African countries during a virtual 34th Summit of the African Union today.

“I concur with the proposal for more robust strategies to deal with future pandemics and the need to strengthen and review statutes of the Africa-Centre for Diseases Control to enable it to fully perform its task.

“I equally support the call for Africa to develop our own  pharmaceutical industry drawing from our rich heritage based scientific knowledge, and competent scientists. Zimbabwe further supports calls for the establishment of the Africa Medicine Agency (AMA),” said the President.

He said the African Union’s elaborate, well-coordinated and effective new initiatives towards combating the spread of the pandemic demonstrate the power of solidarity, cooperation and unity which can be traced to Africa’s rich culture and heritage as a Continent.

He added, “My country appreciates the critical role and efforts of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa-CDC), the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) and the African Union Special Envoys to procure vaccines.

“Efforts by the private sector and other stakeholders to mobilise and set up platforms on which Member States of the Union can procure the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), diagnostic equipment and vaccines are equally commendable. We also hail the Afreximbank which will avail financial facilities to enable countries to purchase their Covid-19 contingencies.”

President Mnangagwa conveyed his condolences to all African leaders for the sad losses they have endured in their respective countries due to the COVID 19 pandemic and commended outgoing chair, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“I further commend the outgoing Chair of our Union, His Excellency Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, and President of the Republic of South Africa for his exemplary and sterling work in leading our Continental body. His innovative and responsive approach in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our continent is admirable,” said the President.

The 34th AU summit is being under the theme “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want,” which is also the theme of 2021.