Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me the floor. Thank you also, for convening us once again to harmonise our strategies for defeating this pandemic. Your collegial and focused leadership of our organisation throughout this crisis has made a real difference. We greatly appreciate these efforts, undertaken with the support of the entire Bureau.

I also wish to applaud the entire Commission, led by Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, which continues to represent us very ably. I thank Dr Nkengasong of Africa C.D.C. for once again providing us with a comprehensive report.

In the East African Community, we continue to work together to establish procedures to facilitate the flow of trade, while also protecting public health. This includes the expanded use of digital tools and working to harmonise testing guidelines.

In fact, in the East African region we still have a few problems to address which I will not bother this meeting with, but we will have to keep working at having the same understanding of what dangers this pandemic poses and how to manage it. I am sure that my brother, President Uhuru Kenyatta, understands what I am talking about. But we will keep working at it. We have that problem of harmonisation and understanding of what actions we have to take, but we will keep working at it.

We also regret the untimely passing of the President of the Republic of Burundi, and extend our condolences to his family and the people of Burundi.

I wish to commend the excellent work of our six Special Envoys. There could not be more capable individuals to represent our continent on this very complicated matter. Providing adequate fiscal space to Africa does not only benefit Africa. It should be seen as part of the overall effort to stabilise the global economy. This is in everyone’s interest.

Moreover, the urgency of creating fiscal space must not come at the expense of existing and new development programs, which are essential to sustain progress toward Agenda 2063, including resilient health systems.

We are also happy about the progress on the Africa Medical Supplies Platform, led by Strive Masiyiwa. This will help Africa to procure medical supplies in a timely manner and at more affordable prices. You have our full support, Strive, as you carry out your mission.

I wish to thank you again, Chairperson and Excellencies, for your attention.