Thursday, 26 May 2022
WorldAfrica / Covid-19: Sall and Ramaphosa plead for the sustainability of local...

Africa / Covid-19: Sall and Ramaphosa plead for the sustainability of local vaccine production

AA / Alioune Ndiaye

President Macky Sall has called for vaccines produced locally in Africa to have access to global distribution and marketing platforms, in order to ensure the sustainability of production.

He spoke by videoconference on the occasion of the 2nd world summit on Covid-19 organized on the initiative of the United States, Thursday.

“Some countries are already producing, others like Senegal are preparing very soon (…) Africa wants locally produced vaccines to access marketing and distribution platforms like Gavi; which will make local vaccine production sustainable in Africa,” said Sall, President of the African Union, making this a priority.

“Vaccines produced in Africa must be purchased by African populations. It is vital for the health security of the continent today and in the future”, noted for his part the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who spoke in his capacity as AU champion on vaccines against Covid-19.

He assured that Africa’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of its population.

South Africa, the first African country to locally produce a vaccine against the pandemic, Aspenovax, is struggling to find buyers for its product.

“If we still do not receive an order for Aspenovax, it will obviously make no sense for us to maintain this production line”, indicated in a statement relayed by local and international media Stavros Nicolaou, executive at the pharmaceutical group sud -African ASPEN, producer of the vaccine.

This represents a real problem as the African continent aims to produce locally by 2040, 60% of the vaccines it uses. With only 16% of its population fully vaccinated at the end of March according to the WHO, Africa has one of the lowest vaccination coverage rates.

President Sall makes accelerating the process of local vaccine production in Africa another priority.

“I recall that last February, the 6th Europe-Africa Summit launched an initiative for the production of messenger RNA vaccine in six African countries – South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria – Senegal and Tunisia – We are calling for a better diligence in the implementation of this initiative,” he recalled.

He also mentioned universal access to the vaccine and the improvement of the vaccination rate as another priority for Africa.

Speaking on behalf of the AU, the Senegalese President finally pleaded for the establishment of a new, more inclusive public health world order. This, he said, for better management of cross-border health issues.

The 2nd Global Covid-19 Summit, which follows the first one held in September 2021, was engagement driven and builds on the themes and commitments made at the first summit.

It emphasizes supporting local solutions for immediate and long-term challenges. The summit raised $3 billion in new funds to fight the pandemic, according to a White House briefing released Thursday.

The United States, which held the presidency of the first summit, Brazil, which holds the presidency of CARICOM, Germany, which holds the presidency of the G7, Indonesia, which holds the presidency of the G20, and Senegal, which holds the presidency of the African Union, are the organizers of this virtual meeting.

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