January 21, 2004

Prime Minister to leave government

Mozambican Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi confirmed that he has accepted the post of High Commissioner of the medical research body, EDCTP, and could therefore leave the government at any moment. EDCTP brings together European and African scientists, in a partnership aimed at clinical tests of new medicines and vaccines for diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. It is aimed specifically at the needs of developing countries. The invitation to Mocumbi was an initiative of the Coordinating Committee of the African countries who have subscribed to the partnership, and won the support of the European Union. But for the time being Mocumbi is still Prime Minister. As he made it clear he would not leave the government until President Joaquim Chissano has found a replacement. He confirmed his interest in the job, but warned "it's not from one day to the next that I can take up the post of High Commissioner". "We in Mozambique have been involved in the search for means and methods to combat effectively diseases that are related to poverty, particularly malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS", said Mocumbi. "This fits in perfectly with the government's Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty".

Mozambican scientists had thus been involved in a dialogue with their European partners over how to combat these diseases, and concluded that a new partnership between Europe and developing countries should be drawn up specifically in this field. To make EDCTP operational, and to establish a genuine and long term partnership with developing countries, the European Commission, together with the European Parliament, has decided to grant the new body 200 million Euro. (Agencía de Informação de Moçambique, Maputo)


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