Durão Barroso, the PSD prime minister who left Portugal to head up the European Commission has been ‘unanimously approved’ to take over the presidency of global vaccine alliance GAVI, which reports today describe as “an organisation that currently assumes great importance due to the pandemic provoked by Covid-19”.
Mr Barroso, who moved from the world of politics to big business after his stint at the European Commission, will be assuming control in January 2021, substituting economist and former finance minister of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The new post does not affect Mr Barroso’s role as Chairman and non-executive director of investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, based in London.
In a statement put out by Gavi today, Mr Barroso’s “remarkable status and experience, his history as a leader, his vast experience in the presidency of institutions with multiple stakeholders and his commitment to international cooperation” were cited as qualities that qualified him for this new role.
Mr Barroso himself stressed that “the world needs GAVI now more than ever, as much to assure that Covid-19 vaccines get through to all countries, rich and poor, as to proceed with its principal mission of protecting hundreds of millions of people against avoidable diseases”.
Explain reports, “GAVI brings together the governments of various developing countries, the World Health Organisation, UNICED, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners within the private sector”.