Africa: Kagame Lauds Us Plans to Support Africa’s Vaccines Prospects

President Paul Kagame has said it is a good sign to see that the United States is preparing to join with partners in Africa to support local manufacturing of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.

Kagame was speaking at the ongoing US-Africa Business Summit organised by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).

The hybrid summit, bringing together more than 2000 participants including government leaders and African business executives, aims to bring new pathways to strengthen the economic partnership between the United States and Africa.

Organisers say that through the conference, officials look to address the rapidly evolving models for business and investment in the continent’s most pressing sectors and offer countless opportunities to meet new partners.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing us to adjust and adapt. We don’t know how much longer it will be with us.”

This, the Head of State said, is why we need an even stronger partnership between Africa and the United States.

Speaking about the battle against the pandemic, Kagame said that the US is now stepping up to provide millions of Covid-19 doses through Covax, a move he said was positive, basing on the fact that first batches have already arrived in Africa.

“But donations are not a long-term solution to a global health challenge of the magnitude, nor do they address the issue of equity,” he highlighted.

“It is, therefore, a good sign that the United States is preparing to join with partners, through the US Development Finance Corporation and other agencies, to support local manufacturing of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.”

On the side of Africa, Kagame said the continent is doing its part with the imminent entry into force of the Africa Medicines Agency treaty, which he disclosed will create a continental regulatory body to reinforce national guidelines.

“This presents a tremendous opportunity for companies on both sides of the Atlantic,” he asserted.

Kagame said that there are various examples of how this kind of collaboration can produce innovations that impact the entire world.

For instance, he said that a few years ago, a small start-up from California called Zipline approached Rwanda about piloting a futuristic technology to deliver blood supplies to remote hospitals with the use of drones.