Africa: EU, AU Sign Agreement to Strengthen Public Health Response in Africa

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, on Tuesday, signed a new partnership to strengthen the capacity of the Africa CDC to prepare for and respond to public health threats in Africa.

The four-year project, ‘EU for health security in Africa: ECDC for Africa CDC’, funded by the European Union, will also facilitate harmonised surveillance and disease intelligence, and support the implementation of the public health workforce strategy of Africa CDC.

In a statement released today by the EU, the Commission Vice-President, Margaritis Schinas, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has shown more clearly than ever that health security – a longstanding objective in the cooperation between the African Union and the European Union – must remain a global priority.

“The new partnership between the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control and the Africa CDC is a crucial step to achieve this common goal. We are acting now, together, to end this crisis and be prepared for future outbreaks. Our AU-EU Commission-to-Commission meeting in February was instrumental in reinforcing the prospects of our cooperation that is now bearing fruit.”

Also, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Amira Mohammed, said, “As a continent, we recognise the socioeconomic impact that disease outbreaks have had on our people. We know that fighting COVID-19 in Africa is not only about saving lives today, but about the future of the continent, it is about strengthening our health systems to better support preparedness and response to health emergencies in the future.