COMESA Heads of State have urged member States to scale up investment in research and innovation in the health sector and to prioritize all programmes that would enhance socio-economic recovery and generate more resilient societies that are ready to respond to disasters that may come.
In their communique issued at the end of the 21st Comesa Summit on Tuesday, the leaders noted the devastating socio-economic and cultural effects of the Covid-19 pandemic across various sectors of the economy, low vaccine production and access in the region.
“The leaders urged member States to invest in digital infrastructure to enhance universal access to the internet to address the challenges arising from the digital divide and support the digitalisation of the economies,” said Comesa in a media brief.
“The focus on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and way forward, is in line with the theme of the Comesa Summit: Building Resilience Through Strategic Digital Economic Integration, which advocates for the application of ICT solutions in driving regional integration.”
The summit, which was also attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Frederick Shava, on behalf of President Mnangagwa, commended Egypt, Rwanda, Uganda and other member States that are already taking initiatives for vaccine production and called for the fair global distribution of vaccines particularly for Africa.
“The Heads of State endorsed the establishment of a multi–sectoral technical committee on health matters to coordinate and support regional programmes on health-related matters at the Secretariat in line with Article 110 of the Comesa Treaty on Cooperation of Member States on Health Matters,” said the bloc.