French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted the importance of vaccine access for Africans during his first state visit to South Africa this week. He arrived in South Africa on Friday for a two-day visit.
Macron participated in a ‘High-level dialogue on the manufacturing of vaccines in Africa’ hosted by the University of Pretoria.
The dialogue was led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and hosted at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Institute. The discussion focused on equitable access to vaccines for the poor and for Africa’s emerging economies. German health minister Jens Spahn joined in the conversation.
It was the conviction of the participants that Africa is capable of manufacturing safe and effective vaccines.
Tawana Kupe, Vice Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, said ‘The fact that the vaccine roll-out across the continent has been delayed due to a lack of resources is just another example of African lives being left at risk or on hold.’
Prof. Quarraisha Abdool Karim, co-director of the Centre for the AIDS programme for research in South Africa, stated that less than 2% of the African population has been vaccinated despite several vaccine trials being held on the African continent.
President Macron reiterated his support for a more equitable vaccine programme.
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