King Mohammed VI: Africa’s South-South Cooperation Needs to Prioritize Public Health

healthcare - November 17, 2022

Rabat - Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has highlighted the need to prioritize public health as part of south-south cooperation during the first edition of the African Conference on Health Risk Reduction in Marrakech.

The Moroccan monarch stressed “the need to multiply health projects and provide our countries with essential health infrastructure,” in an address delivered by Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb.

African delegations are gathering in Marrakech on November 16-18 to discuss structural issues facing the public health sector across the continent. King Mohammed VI has called for a “new geostrategic approach” that endorses south-south cooperation in line with concepts of solidarity, cooperation, and mutual interest.

The ultimate goal, the monarch noted, is “to serve the best interests of the African citizen.”

The address further underscored the need to provide all African citizens with access to national health insurance and pension schemes to improve living conditions and ensure “equitable access to health and social services.”

In addition to expanding social services, King Mohammed VI urged African countries to work together to modernize the national and regional health infrastructures and catch up to fast-paced technological advancements. These reforms underline the necessity of providing quality treatment and medicine to African people to fight against diseases and pandemics.

The Moroccan monarch further recalled Rabat’s role in providing scholarships and training future African doctors, pharmacists, and medical professionals, adding that his country “has launched several projects with many African countries” to develop their public health infrastructure.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Morocco symbolized a shared public health cause by delivering humanitarian aid in the form of medical equipment and medication to more than 20 African countries.

The country has repeatedly called to foster continental solidarity to boost Africa’s sustainable development agenda, particularly in the health sector.

In February, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita commended the region’s ambition to create “a united Africa,” adding that “African solidarity is essential to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on African economies.”

The Moroccan top diplomat further called for advancing “vaccine manufacturing capacities in Africa and to vaccinate all of our populations” during an African Union meeting in Addis Ababa.

Following the early waves of COVID-19, Morocco announced plans to construct Africa’s largest vaccine manufacturing unit, expected to provide for 60% of the continent’s needs by 2030. King Mohammed VI launched the construction works on January 27.

The manufacturing unit is expected to support the work of the African Vaccination Acquisition Task Team given that Morocco could soon provide a sustainable supply of vaccines to neighboring countries.


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