First of all, I want to say congratulations to everyone involved in this historic partnership to strengthen Africa’s public health institutions.

I thank the Mastercard Foundation for this commitment, especially the CEO, Reeta Roy, and the entire board of directors.

I also commend Chairperson Moussa Faki and the African Union Commission, in particular the Africa CDC, led by Dr Nkengasong.

We do not take for granted how much hard work is involved to turn such an ambitious idea into reality.

In 2009, the Mastercard Foundation made a decision to focus on Africa. That promise continues to be delivered upon in ways that are making a real difference on our continent, notably in the areas of education and youth empowerment.

I want to draw attention to three critical features of the partnership we are launching today.

First, it is practical and immediate. Lives are going to be saved through the vaccine purchases.

Second, there is a commitment to work directly with our public health institutions and make them stronger. Creating parallel systems has not been effective or sustainable.

Third, there is a long-term vision to build Africa’s capacity to produce high-quality medicines and vaccines right here on our continent.

As Africa, we have to do our part with a sense of urgency and excellence. We won’t get out of this crisis with a business-as-usual mindset.

That means investing much more of our own domestic resources in our national health systems.

The African Union Commission and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD have technical resources to assist Member States with this priority.

I want to close with a word of recognition and appreciation to the many other bilateral and multilateral partners who contribute to health in Africa.

This new partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and Africa CDC builds on those investments and will help all of us accomplish even more together in the future.

Once again, congratulations, and I thank you for your kind attention.