Africa will begin manufacturing its own covid-19 vaccines, the Africa-France Heads of States Summit on Africa Financing has agreed.
Africa’s capacity to manufacture these vaccines will first require sharing intellectual property and actively transferring technologies and know-how consistent with international legal frameworks – such as through entering into license pooling and manufacturing agreements to enable local production.
DRC President Félix Tshisekedi the current chairperson of AU said that there were some concerns about the use of vaccines made elsewhere.
“We must try to manufacture vaccines in Africa that would have a significant impact on the attitude of people. Economic consequences will also follow,” President Félix Tshisekedi told the Summit.
Leaders at the summit also expressed commitment to stand united and ensure equitable access in Africa to safe and affordable vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.
Official data show that more than 49 million vaccine doses have been delivered through Covax so far.
“We will strive to accelerate these efforts, to make sure more vaccines are allocated to Africa, including through doses-sharing, supporting advance market commitments and facilitating trade along the entire value chain,” reads the communiqué in part.
“We are committed to building the local capacities needed to distribute vaccines. We also need, in partnership with the private sector, to speed up vaccine production, by developing manufacturing capacities in Africa.”
In another development, French President Emmanuel Macron said the Summit in Paris agreed to work towards persuading rich nations to reallocate US$100B in International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing rights (SDRs) monetary reserves to African states by October this year.
World finance chiefs agreed in April to boost SDRs by US$650B and extend a debt-servicing freeze to help developing countries deal with the pandemic, although only US$34B was to be allocated to Africa.
President Macron said France had decided to redirect its SDRs and that there had been an accord to try to get rich nations by October to reallocate US$100B to Africa.
“Our work in the next few weeks will be to make the same rate of effort as France, starting with the United States of America, and I know all the work that we will have to do with Congress and the executive, but I am confident,” he told media.
“The African economies which have been hit by the Covid-19 must not be left behind in the post-pandemic economic recovery.
“A substantial financial package is needed to provide much-needed economic stimulus, African and European leaders concluded at a summit in Paris,” President Macron told the summit.”
The summit was part of Macron’s efforts to recast France’s engagement in Africa.