Morocco has called for the creation of an African platform for the genomic monitoring of the coronavirus to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the continent.
Speaking on Wednesday, February 3, during the 38th session of the Executive Council of the African Union, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita stressed the need for such a platform.
“A plan to strengthen continental capacities in this field would make it possible to detect the appearance of any mutant [COVID-19] strains and assess their impact on transmissibility and resistance to vaccines,” Bourita said.
The Moroccan FM emphasized that the pandemic has spared no continent and that the challenges it induced are constantly evolving, becoming more complex.
“In Africa in particular, [the pandemic] acts as an aggravating factor that exacerbates fragilities and inequalities,” he added.
Despite the challenges, Bourita stated, Africa has shown its resilience to COVID-19. However, he continued, the continent has paid a heavy economic and social price.
The top Moroccan diplomat urged African states to fight the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 with the same level of efforts they have mobilized to fight the pandemic itself.
Speaking before diplomatic delegations from all over Africa, Bourita presented Morocco’s efforts to assist African countries in their fights against COVID-19.
He pointed to King Mohammed VI’s call, in the early months of the pandemic, for the creation of an African platform to manage the crisis in all its aspects.
The Moroccan diplomat also recalled the Moroccan initiative to donate medical equipment to 21 African countries, in all five African sub-regions.
“This was a tangible initiative aimed at establishing an operational and pragmatic framework to support fellow African countries in their efforts to manage the pandemic,” Bourita said.
Finally, the Moroccan FM reiterated his calls for joint African efforts against COVID-19 and its impacts, warning that the pandemic still poses a severe threat to African countries, especially amid the emergence of new variants of the virus.