The African Union (AU) on Monday emphasized the need to scale up COVID-19 vaccines manufacturing in Africa so as to achieve universal and equitable access.
The latest call was made by the Peace and Security Council of the 55-member pan-African bloc.
According to the council, the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa could be achieved through sharing of the intellectual property right, technology transfers and open non-exclusive licensing.
It also called for strengthening African manufacturing capabilities of all types of vaccines, as inequality and disparity in access to vaccines has seriously undermined current global efforts to eradicate the pandemic.
As of Monday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa reached 4,830,229, with the death toll standing at 130,451. A total of 4,365,227 patients across the continent have recovered from the disease, Africa CDC said.
African countries have so far acquired 43 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, of which some 28 million doses have been administered.
Meanwhile, African experts are calling on the developed world to end vaccine hoarding and intensify the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa.
“The developed nations and other countries that are producing the vaccines should ramp up their supply of vaccines to the African continent,”
Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who has served as an economic advisor to the AU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), told Xinhua recently.
“It is very important that we have to have the vaccines as soon as possible,” the expert said, adding “it’s a shame for the developed world who are being very protective of supplying vaccines to Africa and the rest of the third world.”
Costantinos, also a professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, singled out China’s strong commitment in making its COVID-19 vaccines a global public good.
“There is a strong commitment from the Chinese side to supply the vaccines to countries in Africa and the rest of the third world,” he said.
According to Costantinos, China’s COVID-19 vaccine support to Africa and elsewhere across the developing world is about saving lives.
“This (China’s deeds) is about controlling the pandemic globally,” he said, adding this is about stopping the virus not only in Asia, Europe or the United States but also in Africa.