Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame stated that despite the East African community being focused on minimising the cross-border movement of people, there is a lack of coordination and harmonisation.
Kagame made the remarks while briefing the African Union meeting chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa bringing together the AU Extended Bureau with Chairs of Regional Economic Communities on Wednesday, April 29.
The President said that on March 25, Health and Trade Ministers from the East African Community agreed to align key measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the region and also provide mobile testing laboratories for Member States to use at designated border crossings.
“We have made progress in the East African region, but there is more work to do, particularly in the areas of coordination and harmonisation,” Kagame said.
He said that a comprehensive regional response plan is still needed, and owning up fully to this heavy responsibility where “we not only do our best in our own countries but share information and harmonise the way we go about business in the whole region.”
Kagame highlighted the importance of working together to procure equipment and test kits collectively so that each country does not have to line up separately to get their fair share.
“In this case I would wish to register the efforts of the Chair of the African Union and the Chair of the Commission and request them to therefore support the person they appointed, Strive Masiyiwa, to make sure that the contacts made are answering this problem well,” the President said.
Apparently, there are too many orders of these required kits and equipment and each country cannot manage on its own to get what they want and even to know where they should be getting that from.
“I want to leave it in the hands of our leaders, the Chair of the African Union and African Union Commission Chair as well,” he said.