Addis Ababa: The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has said that it would cooperate with the Group of 20 (G20) members on health-related issues.
The Africa CDC, a specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU), hailed the decision to grant the AU permanent membership in the G20.
"This development signifies Africa's ascent as a significant player on the world stage, ready to champion causes and concerns of the continent, which is home to the planet's largest free trade area," the agency said.
"Per its mandate, and as the continental public health institution for Africa, Africa CDC will represent African countries to the G20 Health Ministers' Meeting," the statement read.
The Africa CDC said the AU, strongly representing the voice of around 1.4 billion Africans, now stands alongside the European Union as the second continental and regional intergovernmental organization to attain permanent membership in the G20.
It commended the G20 for its commitment to eliminating hunger and malnutrition, fostering digital ecosystems for health, strengthening global health and implementing the One Health approach. It praised the G20 for strengthening global pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, with strong support for local manufacturing of vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and consumables.
"The Africa CDC is committed to leveraging this new position to advance shared values and advocate for the interests of Africa including in all other multilateral organizations. This is time for Africa to act," it said.
Earlier on Saturday, the G20 members agreed to grant permanent membership to the AU to make the group more representative. The agreement was reached at the inaugural session of the two-day G20 summit held in the Indian capital of New Delhi during the weekend.