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Speech By AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki To G7 Nations {Full Text}

2 years agoSun, 12 Dec 2021 17:24:52 GMT
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Speech By AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki To G7 Nations {Full Text}

Remarks of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission at 12 Dec 2021 G7 meeting of Foreign & Development Ministers on Vaccines & Global Health Security

I would like to thank the Government of the United Kingdom for inviting us to address the Vaccines and Global Health Security Session of the G7 Foreign and Development Ministerial meeting.

This is a vital and sensitive issue for Africa and the rest of the world, particularly the crucial issue of vaccines against COVID-19 and its different variants for our shared global health security.

Given the limited time, I would like to focus my remarks on three aspects: delivery of vaccines, manufacturing of vaccines in Africa before concluding the African Strategy on these issues.

With regard to the delivery of vaccines, Africa saw disproportionate delays, in comparison to the rest of the world, not only of what we ordered on the market but also those pledged under the Covax facility.

To date, about 8,5 billion doses delivered around the globe. Africa has received only 264 million of that number.

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This means that only 7% of Africans have been vaccinated, compared to 70% of people around the world.

Let me be clear when this global pandemic started, Africa asked for one thing only – to have the same access to vaccines at the same price when they became available.

Two years later, we witnessed that these assurances of global solidarity were ignored.

If that was not enough, recently when South African scientists alerted the world on the presence of a new variant, the country and the southern African region was slapped with travel restrictions. Is this normal?

It became clear that for a population of 1,3 billion people, Africa, 14% of the world’s population, produces less than 0,1 % of global vaccines. This came into stark focus with this pandemic.

So, in April this year, the Africa Union launched the African Vaccine Manufacturing Partnership (AVMP).

This Continental Vaccine Manufacturing Vision is “to ensure that Africa has timely access to vaccines to protect public health security, by establishing a sustainable vaccine development and manufacturing ecosystem in Africa”.

We are also operationalising the African Medicines Agency, which is a key part of our global health security strategy.
What do we expect from our friends?

At the risk of repeating the obvious, no one is safe until we all are, to be able to truly fight this pandemic.

Now more than ever, the world must honour its commitments with urgency. Vaccine nationalism is self-defeating and suicidal in a global pandemic.

And lastly, supporting African initiatives in the manufacture of essential medicines and vaccines beyond the Covid is key to global health security.

I urge the G7 to join the United States of America in the support of the Initiative by South Africa and India at the WTO to waive intellectual property rights to Covid vaccines.

I sincerely hope this meeting comes up with concrete action on this urgent issue, so vital for our common survival.

Finally, I hope we can count on your support on the 14th to 16th December at the first International Conference on Public Health in Africa, convened by the African Union.

Thank you for your attention.

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