Be Smart About South Africa

Africa Should be Allowed to Produce its Own Covid-19 Vaccines

French President Emmanuel Macron holds a joint news conference with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Senegal's President Macky Sall and African Union President and President of Congo Democratic Republic Felix Tshisekedi at the end of the Summit on the Financing of African Economies in Paris, France May 18, 2021. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

Outcomes from the Paris summit include a promise to help Africa overcome the coronavirus pandemic with a “New Deal” using global financial firepower to replenish depleted coffers and ramp up a sluggish vaccine rollout. The summit, which brought together African leaders and global financial institutions, launched “a New Deal for Africa and by Africa”, host French President Emmanuel Macron told a news conference. The summit was dominated by fears that while richer nations were launching economic recovery packages, Africa lacked the means to follow suit, and risked increased inequality and consequently insecurity. Macron said there was also great inequality in terms of limited African access to coronavirus vaccines, and the summit hoped that patents would be lifted so Africa could begin to produce its own jabs. “The current situation is not sustainable, it is both unfair and inefficient,” he said. “We are asking the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Medicines Patent Pool to remove all these constraints in terms of intellectual property which blocks the production of certain types of vaccines,” Macron added.


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