Five heads of state and government from Europe and Africa, including Emmanuel Macron, called on Tuesday for "technology sharing" and "support for innovation" in order to produce more vaccines locally "in order to better prepare for the next crisis.
“It is not a question of knowing + if + a new pandemic will break out, but + when +”, write the French, Rwandan, South African Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa and Senegalese Macky Sall, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a column published in Le Monde.
“It is high time to intensify collaboration, foster local production and build trust in locally made products,” they insist.
A newly emerging market in Africa
Africa is the least vaccinated continent in the world against Covid-19, with less than 20% of its 1.2 billion inhabitants having received two doses of the vaccine.
Africa's first messenger RNA vaccine factory was inaugurated in June in Rwanda, with the aim of manufacturing treatments for Covid-19 and other diseases for millions of people on the continent by early 2024. .
South Africa also opened a Covid vaccine factory in January.
Senegal must also become a regional hub for the manufacture of vaccines.
"It is difficult to build a vaccine production unit, but it is even more difficult to ensure its sustainability", underline the signatories of the forum.
They call for this to strengthen the training of personnel, regulations, in Africa and elsewhere in the world, as well as to finance more investments “in the preparation for pandemics”.
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