African leaders launch Africa medical supplies platform and seek China’s help to beat COVID-19

African leaders on Wednesday launched Africa medical supplies platform to beat COVID-19 and called on China to help the continent with the provision of diagnostic and therapeutic supplies over a period of six months.

The Africa medical supplies platform is a ground-breaking marketplace that is meant to enable all African governments to access critical supplies, African Union Chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa announced at the China-Africa solidarity summit against COVID-19

“As things stand, however, many African countries are having to purchase goods with resources largely obtained from the multilateral agencies.

“We would like to ask China to consider support for the provision of diagnostic and therapeutic supplies over a period of six months. This support would be managed by AfriExImBank in collaboration with its counterpart in China. This would allow several African countries to procure goods from China,” Mr. Ramaphosa said in his opening remarks at a summit also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The African Union Chairperson also called on China to support the call for the international community to avail some unused Special Drawing Rights of about $100 billion for Africa.

“The AU has been in the forefront of mobilising international support for a comprehensive economic stimulus package for Africa.  

“We have called for debt relief for African countries that are indebted, including a two-year debt standstill and a plan for the restructuring of both private and bilateral debt. 

“To provide additional liquidity to shore up the private sector, Africa has called for the international community to avail some unused Special Drawing Rights of about $100 billion for Africa. 

“We urge China to support and contribute to this call, or to propose alternative options that can be considered on an urgent basis to help support the private sector,” Mr. Ramaphosa said.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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