Let me start by welcoming you all to Rwanda for this conference.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many African countries took the lead on the response with the support of their parliaments.

Across the continent, parliamentarians have raised awareness and provided support for pandemic response, among other essential functions.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend you for playing your part.

However, as we continue on the path to recovery, parliaments still need to be at the forefront of building Africa’s resilience against mainly health but also other threats.

Here are four ideas for how to make progress.

First, I advise all national parliaments to ratify the African Medicines Agency treaty, which has now entered into force.

This is a landmark agreement that will help ensure that vaccines and medications in Africa are both high-quality and locally produced.

Second, legislatures should be a driving force for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Paris Climate Accords. Both require extensive enabling legislation.

Third, enacting the legal frameworks required to speed up digital transformation should be a priority.

Lastly, budgetary allocations should be made towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063.

This is particularly the case in the health sector, where there is still too much dependence on external financing.

The pandemic exposed Africa’s vulnerabilities and reversed some of the gains we had made.

Africa is not alone in these setbacks, but we can afford it less than others. So we have to work together to get back on track, with a sense of urgency.

I would like to end by encouraging all of us to continue sharing knowledge, skills, and resources with one another. It is by collaborating that our individual efforts will be multiplied.

Once again, you are most welcome, and I invite you to feel at home, and enjoy your time in our country.

I thank you for your kind attention.