The Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi has now taken over the helm of the African Union (AU) to serve as the chairman for 1-year.
He replies his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, following the AU’s 34th summit on Saturday February 6, 2021. But he faces big challenges this year with the coronavirus pandemic hitting health service and economies hard.
The continent has so far been hit less hard than other regions, recording 3.5 percent of global virus cases and 4 percent of global deaths, according to the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. But many African countries are battling damaging second waves while straining to procure sufficient vaccine doses.
African leaders are speaking out against hoarding by rich countries at the expense of poorer ones.
“There is a vaccine nationalism on the rise, with other rich countries jumping the queue, some even pre-ordering more than they require”, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the AU’s executive body, the AU Commission in a recent interview the AU posted online.
Vaccine financing is also expected to be discussed at the summit. Other issues facing the continent are the Nile Dam dispute and conflict is Ethiopia’s Tigray, the Sahel and the Central African Republic.