COVID-19 response-African leaders engage business leaders

By Zbc Reporter
Zimbabwe has pledged to contribute one million united states dollars to the African union COVID-19 fund and another one million dollars to the African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).
African Union member states are also piling pressure on countries that have imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe and Sudan to remove the sanctions so that affected countries will be able to fully respond to the COVID-19 threat.
The African Union has roped in the business community in its effort to fight COVID-19, following the holding of a multi-stakeholder virtual meeting between leaders and business representatives this Wednesday.
Most African countries are under lockdown as they try to contain the spread of COVID-19, which has so far claimed over 1000 lives and infected nearly 24-thousand people on the continent.
Apart from such an impact on people’s lives, COVID-19 is also estimated to halve the continent’s Gross Domestic Product to about 2,5 trillion United States dollars.
With the continent faced with such a situation, never has coordination and unity of purpose been so vital for Africa since the struggle for independence.
It is against this background that African Union Chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa led yet another virtual meeting with fellow continental leaders and other stakeholders to coordinate efforts to fight the pandemic in line with the decision of the extended African union bureau.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa participated in the virtual meeting together with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Rtd Lt Gen Dr Sibusiso Moyo who spoke on the 2 million United States dollars pledge made by the Zimbabwean government to the African union COVID-19 fund and the African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).
Other African countries also made their pledges to the two funds to assist the continent in dealing with COVID-19.
Other issues that took centre stage during the virtual meeting include the pressure by African leaders on the US and the EU to remove the illegal embargo on Zimbabwe and Sudan to enable the countries to fight the COVID-19 threat without any hindrances.
Business leaders from some of Africa’s largest firms also participated in the virtual meeting.