Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi urged a fair and equitable chance for African countries to obtain coronavirus vaccine doses, as he spoke in a virtual meeting under the auspices of the African Union.

Al Sisi called for continuing coordination with the international community in this regard, underscoring also the need to secure the necessary funding and logistic support to help African countries face the pandemic at economic, health and social levels.

Al Sisi affirmed that Egypt would spare no effort in backing other African countries to receive vaccine doses, referencing the Egyptian experience in this regard.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Congolese President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, who currently chairs the African Union, took part in the meeting.

African leaders as well as Moussa Faki, the chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC) also participated.

Al Sisi affirmed that holding this meeting reflects the political will to foster joint African work aiming at tackling the coronavirus implications, given the huge challenges and threats posed by the pandemic on the regional and international health and development systems.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron told the African leaders the slow pace of the vaccination campaign in poor countries, especially in Africa, is unjustified and unacceptable.

“We are at a critical juncture if we want to act more effectively,” Macron said.

He added morals and interests require this, and if we do not eradicate this virus in all parts of the world, it will continue to spread and mutate.

Macron suggested that the Group of Seven agree to grant a “joint mandate” to the World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation to “remove obstacles” to obtaining the vaccine.