Africa News Bulletin

Mozambique: President asks for full debt forgiveness for African countries at EU-Africa Summit

The President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, this Thursday (17-02) urged developed countries to reconsider the issue of African debt – not in the sense just of postponement, but of total forgiveness.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 6th EU-Africa Summit in Brussels during a forum on health promoted by the European Corporate Council on Africa and the Middle East (Ecam Council), the President of the Republic justified such a request on the basis that African countries have become very fragile due to the health crisis resulting from Covid-19. And such weakness has had its greatest impact on the health sector.

Because the forum served to exchange experiences between Europe and Africa in this area, Nyusi spoke specifically about Mozambique, which, using what he called “health diplomacy”, had managed to ensure, at the very least, health services for the population.

“We were able to reduce infant mortality, deaths from breast and prostate cancer, as well as from tuberculosis. Now we want to reinforce training to respond to the main challenges of the sector,” ‘Noticias’ cites the President as saying.

Nyusi added that, thanks to “health diplomacy”, which consists of exchanging experiences in the field with other countries, Mozambique has a Covid-19 vaccination plan that has already secured the immunisation of just over 30% of its 30 million inhabitants. Soon, he noted, the vaccination of people over 15 years of age will begin, thanks to solidarity with other countries.

He also spoke about the “One district, one hospital” project and the extension of water supply to remote areas, all of which will improve the health of the population. “We continue to seek partnerships in the area of health,” calling for joint work with partners to bring health to rural areas, he said.

In a speech on the theme “A new era in EU-Africa relations, through health diplomacy”, Filipe Nyusi recognised the growing rapprochement between the two blocs since the first summit held in Cairo, in 2000, but said that it was necessary for the partnership to move from rhetoric to action and for the parties treat each other as equals, on the basis of mutual respect, even if there are differences.

“Africa is no longer a continent that people talk about, but a continent that people talk with. What happens in Africa is important for Europe, just as what happens in Europe is important for Africa,” the Mozambican head of state said, adding that Africa had been taken hostage by some countries of “good will”.

As an example of this, he referred to the disparity in the distribution of vaccines, warning that it is not enough for Europe to vaccinate its entire population. It was necessary to extend solidarity to achieve sustainability.

The sixth EU-Africa summit is taking place in Brussels, with President Nyusi participating in several round tables at which various topics will be debated. Mozambique chose as its themes, peace and security, energy transition, health strengthening and vaccine distribution.

The summit ends today with the adoption of a declaration on the “Joint Vision for 2030”.

Original story on Club of Mozambique

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