The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, has taken over the African Union’s affairs to serve as its chairman for one year. He succeeded his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, at the end of the 34th African Union summit on Saturday.
Felix Tshisekedi is the new chairman of the African Union for a one-year term. He succeeded his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, at the end of the 34th summit of the African Union, which was held on Saturday, February 6, 2021. But the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing major challenges this year with the coronavirus pandemic that is hitting health services and economies hard.
The African continent has so far been less affected than other regions, accounting for 3.5% of Covid-19 cases and 4% of deaths worldwide, according to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Africa). But many African countries are grappling with damaging second waves while trying to procure sufficient doses of vaccine.
African leaders are speaking out against hoarding by rich countries at the expense of the poorest. « There is vaccine nationalism on the rise, with other rich countries jumping the queue, with some pre-committing even more than necessary, » said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the AU’s executive organ, the African Union Commission, in a recent interview.
Vaccine funding is also expected to be discussed at the summit. Other issues facing the continent are the dispute over the Nile dam and conflicts in Ethiopia’s Tigray, the Sahel and the Central African Republic.