AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa appoints Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Donald Kaberuka, Tidjane Thiam and Trevor Manuel as special envoys on COVID-19

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The Chairperson of the African Union, President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has appointed Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr Donald Kaberuka, Mr Tidjane Thiam and Mr Trevor Manuel as Special Envoys of the African Union on COVID-19 economic turbulence.

They will “mobilize international support for Africa’s efforts to address the economic challenges African countries will face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the AU said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C. on Sunday.

The statement added that the Special Envoys will be “tasked with soliciting rapid and concrete support as pledged by the G20, the European Union and other international financial institutions.”

“In the light of the devastating socio-economic and political impact of the pandemic on African countries these institutions need to support African economies that are facing serious economic challenges with a comprehensive stimulus package for Africa, including deferred debt and interest payments,” said President Ramaphosa.

“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been global in both scale and reach, and this necessitates coordinated international action to capacitate all countries to respond effectively, but most particularly developing countries that continue to shoulder a historical burden of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment,” President Ramaphosa said.

“The sentiment expressed in two recent letters written to the G20 by a group of world leaders and a team of esteemed economists underscore the importance of bolstering health systems in poorer countries; this can only be done with the support of the international community.

”Dr Okonjo-Iweala is an internationally respected economist and development expert and served two terms as Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She has also served as Managing Director of the World Bank,” he added.

Dr Kaberuka is an economist and former President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB). He is the former Finance Minister of Rwanda and in 2016 was appointed as a Special Envoy of the African Union on sustain-able financing for the AU and funding for Peace in Africa.

Mr Manuel was the longest-serving Minister of Finance in the Republic of South Africa and formerly headed the country’s National Planning Commission. In 2018 he was appointed as an Investment Envoy by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to engage domestic and international investors as part of the country’s national investment drive.

Mr Thiam is a banker and businessman. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse and also served as Chief Financial Officer and CEO of Prudential. He also has a background in management consulting and worked for McKinsey and Company.

The AU Chair said the appointment of the special envoys would expedite the process of securing economic support to enable countries on the continent to respond swiftly to this grave public health emergency. President Ramaphosa said the envoys brought with them a wealth of experience and enjoyed longstanding relationships in the international financial community.

“The African Union is immensely encouraged by the support that has been extended by the international community thus far. It is an affirmation that as nations of the world, we are all in this together. We must now focus on efforts to marshal every resource at our disposal to ensure that this pandemic is contained, and does not result in the collapse of already ailing economies and financial systems on the continent,” President Ramaphosa said.

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

1 COMMENT

  1. And just who paid, and still do, and gave recognition of what is called the African Union?
    And what has it accomplished on its own they eitherdoned white mad vlotes, sent heir connected friend, own and relatives to study I Europe or US.
    Millions and billions spent upon salarys, travel expenses and most modern office spaces n home country and aiding those foreign powers entry into their buisess, social groups while whenever a crisis developed the g hands out begging not heir neighbors r fellow nations but
    World respected, not so, they are given platforms among US European councils, token Blacks who self elevate their positions among African people while millions real in same centuries of poverty?
    F one thing only comes of this pandemiclet it be peoples of world to wake up to their decions of future destiny must come about by breaking away from the US European model, which this pandemic has shown its how failed and flawed it is.

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