Your Excellencies, distinguished dignitaries, members of the media, ladies and gentleman, it gives me great pleasure to be joining my colleague Ministers and our very good friends at the Africa CDC to review the Joint Continental Strategy on COVID-19 since it was launched in February 2021.
I am also proud to reaffirm and re-commit the Republic of Kenya to this common continental effort to find Innovative means of reopening our economies and societies even as we continue to maintain heightened vigilance about this devastating pandemic.
Kenya strongly commends and endorses the leadership the AU and the Africa CDC have shown during this crisis and are thus proud to continue aligning our national policy objectives with the guidance the African Continental Taskforce on COVID-19 has generated with such impressive regularity throughout the highs and lows of this difficult season of our lives.
Whether in relation to the clinical case management insights or the Program to Accelerate Clinical Testing, our strong belief as a country in the African common front has seen us investing alongside other committed member states to ensure that the entire continent pushes in one direction to overcome this pandemic.
I am particularly proud that Kenya was the pioneer country in the deployment of the Trusted Travel Platform, and this week also became the pioneer country to digitize vaccine data records in a manner that is compatible with the Trusted Vaccines Framework. These are unified digital platforms built and sustained through a public-private partnership among the AU institutions, on the one hand, and the Continental private sector, with support from Civil Society.
For so many leading public and private institutions to come together for the purpose of deploying a technology platform to make it easy for citizens of one AU member state to travel to another member state and for laboratory test results issued in one country to be verifiable in another country, we clearly must have arrived at a watershed as a continent.
Kenya’s domestic investment in this system has greatly reduced the inconveniences of travel for hundreds of thousands of visitors, many of them from within the AU, demonstrating the power of homegrown innovation and this continent’s capacity to work together to address even the most difficult common challenges.
As a country that has always believed in Pan-African policy innovation, it gladden our hearts to no end to see African ingenuity not only on display but supported and promoted by African institutions, technologists and innovators.
We therefore need no further convincing that the newly launched 4D innovation agenda of the African Union is the way to go. Regional harmonization and coordination in the reopening effort, and multidisciplinary engagement across AU departments and the continent’s multiple jurisdictions, are not merely desirable; it is critical.
The Africa CDC and the AU institutions can continue to count on Kenya’s staunch support for Trusted Health, 4D and the broad innovation agenda.
SEN. MUTAHI KAGWE, EGH,