Science

Vaccines: Le Drian wants “synergies” for African sovereignty – Sciences et Avenir

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged in Dakar on Monday to develop “synergies” for the sovereignty of vaccines in Africa, while vaccine production is low on the continent.

This claim comes when the detection of a new variant of Covid-19 called Omicron in South Africa affects several African countries. Currently, only 1% of vaccines used in Africa are manufactured on the continent. The African Union (AU) wants to increase this proportion to 60% by 2040.

Europe and France are working for a “vaccination sovereignty” of Africa and “they want this sovereignty to be part of a global partnership,” said Mr Le Drian, during a press conference at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar that he had just visited.

He is scheduled to participate in the Forum for Peace and Security in Africa, which opens on Monday in Dakar for two days.

“The issue for which we are working together is to meet” the goal of “60% autonomy in vaccine production in Africa by 2040 set by the African Union.”

He highlighted the need to “strengthen synergies” to achieve this goal. France supports the Institut Pasteur de Dakar in projects for vaccines against yellow fever and Covid-19.

Mr Le Drian said that the commitment made by the European Union to deliver 500 million doses by mid-2022 to its partners around the world will be “kept.”

We will even be in the appointment of 300 million doses before the end of this year and of this set, a significant part is destined for Africa, “he said without giving further details.

As for vaccines, “there are those who say and those who do, those who advertise and those who deliver. They are not always the same and rarely the same. We deliver,” he said, alluding to China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping promised Africa on November 29 in Dakar one billion doses of anti-Covid vaccines, in the form of donations or support for local production, during the Forum for Sino-African Cooperation (Focac) in Diamnadio , near Dakar. China aims, according to him, to fill the “vacuum of vaccines” accused by the continent.

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