President Paul Kagame has participated in the first Extraordinary Intersessional Summit of the Organisation of African, Caribbean Pacific States (OACPS) calling for concerted efforts in development and poverty reduction after the current coronavirus global crisis.
The 1st Extraordinary OACPS meeting held today through video conference, was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya was joined by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of World Health Organisation(WHO).
Others included President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Emmerson Mnangagwa Adama Barrow of Gambia, among other Heads of State.
Kagame recognized that the New Coronavirus has taken toll on each country and community, and not sure how long it will take, capacity required to respond to the crisis, but asked that something in collective efforts must be needed as a way out.
“Effects of Covid-19 will persist long after the virus is defeated and the road to recovery will belong. Increased cooperation and mutual interdependence will be the hallmark of the effective international response,” President Kagame said at the OACPS meet.
Kagame particularly said that it’s important for Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific states to cooperate closely on measures to end the pandemic and enhance economic resilience.
“In particular, coordination will be needed to ensure equitable access to treatment, vaccines and medical supplies,” Kagame said.
He recognized the existing efforts by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union (AU) which he said needs collective efforts in amplifying voices to have an adequate fiscal space to respond effectively.
Backing this idea, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said: “Preparedness is not a cost but an investment.”
For this investment to happen, OACPS Secretary-General, Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti said that member countries must find between $50billion and $60billion this year and much more in 2021 to meet their international obligations, in a context of foreign currency shortages.
“This will reduce their capacity to finance imports and bring the risk of default and lower ratings, which will restrict their access to the international capital markets,” Chikoti said.
The OACPS has mobilized over € 200 million from the 11th European Development Fund which is financed by the European Union and co-managed by the OACPS, to aid its Member States to boost health systems and preparedness and assist in the fight against COVID-19.
The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly known as the ACP Group of States was created by the original Georgetown Agreement in 1975, and subsequently revised in 2019.
The OACPS’ main goals centre around the sustainable development of its Members and their gradual integration into the global economy; coordination of OCPS activities in the framework of the implementation of the existing Partnership Agreement with the European Union; consolidation of unity and solidarity among Members of the OACPS; and the establishment and strengthening of peace, security and stability in free and democratic societies.