Rwanda: Kagame to Attend Continental Vaccine Manufacturing Conference
President Paul Kagame is expected to be among African leaders who will this afternoon meet to discuss the continent’s vaccine manufacturing roadmap.
The leaders will be discussing Africa’s vaccine manufacturing to achieve a new public health order for its health and economic security.
The 2-day high-level conference is organised by the African Union (AU) in partnership with the Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC).
Kagame will be joined by various heads of state including President Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo, Cyril Ramaphosa of South African, and Macky Sall of Senegal.
Also expected is Moussa Faki Mahamat, the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayat, the CEO of African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD).
“A critical lesson that Africa has learned from the pandemic is the need to invest in and build its own capacity and capabilities for the manufacturing of vaccines,” reads part of the statement published by CDC. “The continent’s low manufacturing capability exposes Africans to supply chain risks such as the one experienced with the current Covid-19 vaccine challenges.”
According to experts, expanding African manufacturing will clearly have a significant public health impact and economic benefit for the continent.
Consequently, the meeting is expected to inform the AU in charting a vision and roadmap to accelerating African vaccine manufacturing.
AU initiated its own Covid-19 vaccines distribution agenda -African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) aimed at increasing the continent’s ability to disseminate millions of vaccines to African states which have depended on the UN-led Covax facility to vaccinate the first group of the 1.3 billion African citizens since March 2021.
From the initiative, the government of Rwanda said it had secured 2.6 million doses.
The country’s composition of 2.6 million doses is made up of about 500,000 from Pfizer, about 1 Million doses from Johnson & Johnson and about 1 million AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses expected to cover about 1.8 million Rwandans.
Available statistics indicate that over 250,000 Rwandans have received their first doses of vaccine, with some receiving their second doses in the ongoing exercise, putting the country among the nations that have vaccinated the highest number in Africa.
At the conference, other key speakers include Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, Dr. Ngonzi Okonjo-Iweala- the World Health Organization (WHO), and World Trade Organization Director Generals respectively.