President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to prepare harmonised COVID-19 protocols that will ensure participants are safe during the African Union meetings scheduled for February next year.
President Kenyatta emphasized that the protocols will determine whether the African Union (AU) meetings will be virtual or physical given the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention should give protocols that they think will ensure participants are safe and that will determine whether we will have virtual or physical meetings,” the President said.
President Kenyatta spoke Thursday evening during a virtual meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the AU Heads of State and Government and chairpersons of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
The meeting was convened by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, who is also the Chairperson of the AU, to discuss the modalities of holding the 34th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly, the 38th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and the 41st Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee of the AU.
Presidents Abdel Fattah al Sisi (Egypt), Felix Tshisekedi (DRC), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique), Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Nana Akufor-Addo (Ghana) attended the virtual meeting among other leaders.
During the meeting, African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat gave an outline of the AU meetings scheduled for next year that will also see the election of a new AUC leadership.
Africa CDC Director Dr John Nkengasong briefed the meeting on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent and recommended measures to prevent the spread of the disease during the AU meetings including limiting the meeting to one day, testing of delegates in country of origin and on arrival as well as ensuring that the delegates strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.