A new spirit of pan-Africanism guided the continent’s response to the pandemic. Led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the African Union provided multilateral coordination and worked with external partners to obtain support, while the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention organized the pandemic responses of national public health agencies. The pandemic showed the risks of continued reliance on foreign donors for resources such as vaccines, but the collective response demonstrated that the AU has become a strong institution capable of addressing regional and global challenges.

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