I would like to join you and emphasise the message of the leaders who spoke before me and the message of President Ramaphosa, on behalf of Africa and NEPAD, on the importance of the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator for our continent. This is certainly one of the most important international initiatives underway in the world today, and perhaps ever.

I would like to commend the World Health Organisation and the European Commission, along with each of the distinguished organisations supporting the various pillars.

Each of the pillars is crucial, but the vaccine pillar holds the most promise for getting our economies and our citizens back to work. By pooling risk through this innovative model, we can ensure that vaccine distribution is fair and equitable. This will, in turn, support the resumption of economic activity, which benefits us all.

We will also be able to ensure that vaccines and other tools are directed where they are needed most. Some countries are at greater risk than others. And some populations within countries require special attention. It is important to prioritise the hotspots.

Allow me to conclude with a word from our experience in Rwanda and Africa in dealing with other health challenges. The difference between success and failure lies in building a robust public health infrastructure that can confront any health issue in a sustainable manner. Solid health systems, combined with transformational partnerships such as this Accelerator, are absolutely critical.

Rwanda is committed to partnering with the other Council members and stakeholders to make this venture into the success that it needs to be. I thank you all.