The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says the Coronavirus pandemic must challenge African governments to do more for their citizens.
The Foreign Affairs Minister and Regional Integration made the remark today, Tuesday, May 26, 2020 during an address in Parliament to mark the African Union Day commemorated on May 25, 2020.
According to the Minister, the difficulties presented by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an indication that the continent cannot depend on others for solutions.
“It is obvious that COVID-19 will adversely have an impact on our ability to meet the aspirations of the AU agenda 2063 for a peaceful, united, and prosperous continent.”
“Several countries in Africa with Ghana inclusive have had their economic targets and ratings revised as the virus has exposed the deep inequalities that continue to exist on the African continent and across the world. Indeed, it has shown how far we are from realizing the development aspirations and our responsibility to the citizenry. The pervasive negative impact of the pandemic will require more than ever before our collective coordinated, strategic, and innovative action in the fight against this pandemic to save lives without losing focus on our efforts to advance the course of progress and development on the continent,” she urged.
Meanwhile, as of May 23, Africa had reported nearly 105, 000 cases of infection, nearly 4,000 deaths, and 42,000 recoveries.
The African Union was formed 57 years ago on May 25, 1963, and the day is commemorated across the Africa continent.
AU was established to help achieve greater unity, cohesion, and solidarity between the African countries and African nations, defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States and accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent.
AU establishes COVID-19 Fund
The African Union has created a COVID-19 Response Fund with the aim of raising US$1 million to boost the Union’s response towards the COVID-19 fight in Africa.
The Fund was established by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The Fund, dubbed “Give a Little” has a target of raising the US$1 million today, AU Day, May 25, 2020.
“On this Africa Day, 25 May, all Africans, people of African descent and friends of Africa are encouraged to give a little to the Fund. A target of US$1million has been set for the day. Contributions can be made in any currency and this will be automatically converted into United States dollars, which is the original currency of the Fund account.”
“Money raised under the Fund will be used to mitigate the social, economic, and humanitarian impact of COVID-19 in all African countries. This is important because the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse the socio-economic advancements made by Africa in the last 30 years as the pandemic proves to be more severe on the socio-economic well-being of populations in Africa,” AU captured in a statement on its website on Monday.