President Emmanuel Macron has said France was on track to deliver 30 million COVID-19 vaccination doses to Africa by year-end, part of a total of more than 100 million doses that the European Union plans to deliver to Africa this year.
“To help Africa get vaccinated … is, first of all, a duty of solidarity, and it’s also quite simply …in the interest of all European countries, all the countries in the world,” said Macron during a visit to a vaccination centre in Kigali on the sidelines of a state visit.
Speaking at another joint news conference with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria, South Africa, Macron said Africa made up around 20% of the world’s need for vaccines but only 1% of vaccine production.
He discussed the idea to invest in boosting the production of Covid-19 vaccines in Africa, to help close a gap in the availability of the shots between African and Western nations.
“How do we boost the production of vaccines on the African continent?” he said. “On this, we will this afternoon have an investment strategy to help these industrials produce more, and quite quickly.”
He said France already had a partnership with South Africa’s Biovac Institute and would soon launch a project with South African pharmaceutical company Aspen.
“We need to vaccinate as quickly as possible the maximum number of people … all over the world,” Macron said. “It is our moral duty; it is also in everyone’s interests.”