Africa Needs to Manufacture its Covid-19 Vaccines – Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says Africa needs the skills and capacity to produce its own vaccines, as the continent lags behind other global regions in the Covid-19 innoculations.

Ramaphosa made this remark at a conference organized by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. He emphasized that with only two per cent of the world’s total number of shots administered so far, “Africa needs to harness its own continental capabilities and identify opportunities for collaboration across… countries,”

He urged African countries to seek help from other continents who ” could offer technological expertise, financing and investment”, He suggested India and Brazil could help with guidance on how they have developed their own generic pharmaceutical industries.

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Ramaphosa remarked that Africa will also need capacity-building in the form of skills and knowledge transfer to ensure we can sustain local manufacturing,”

According to the latest figures from Africa CDC, Africa has been the region least affected by the pandemic, with 4.35 million cases and 115,000 deaths among an overall population of 1.2 billion

But its slow pace of vaccinations has been blamed on inadequate supplies, insufficient financing and logistic problems.

Ramaphosa recently criticised developed countries for hugging vaccines, and rolling out the “vaccine apartheid must come to an end” message.

Also speaking at Monday’s conference, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame remarked that “vaccine equity” can not be guaranteed by “goodwill alone”.

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Africa needs to and should be capable of producing its own vaccines and medical products.

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