President Paul Kagame has commended the United States for willing to join Africa’s partners in efforts to manufacture local vaccine of COVID-19 amid a worrisome increase of new cases and fatalities on the continent.
As of June 28, Africa had recorded 4.7 million new cases of COVID-19 cumulatively and the continent had already lost 113, 901 to the pandemic that has been a global challenge for nearly two years now.
The whole world has registered 196.2 million COVID-19 cases and 4.1 million fatalities and globally, the USA is the most affected country with 35.3 million cases and 627,351 fatalities,
“The United States is stepping up to provide millions of COVID-19 vaccines doses through COVAX,” President Kagame said at the US-Africa business summit, a virtual Conference by the Corporate Council on Africa today.
The president appreciated the fact that first deliveries have already started to arrive in Africa, but said that donations alone cannot do.
“Donations are not a long term solution to a global health challenge of this magnitude, nor fo they address the issue of equity,” Kagame said.
He further said that it is “a good sign that the United States is preparing to join with partners in Africa through the US Development Finance Corporation and other agencies to support local manufacturing of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.”
The president indicated that Africa is already playing its part through the entry into force of the Africa Medicines Agency treaty.
The latter will create a continental regulatory body to reinforce national regulators.
“This presents tremendous opportunities for companies from both sides of the Atlantic,” Kagame said.
Kagame mentioned Zipline Rwanda, a company that invested in blood delivery via drones as an example of a US-Africa business partnership that is already bearing many fruits.
He remembers Zipline as a small start-up company from California then, which has now expanded to more African companies, Japan and US itself.
“The Company is now valued in the millions of dollars,” Kagame said advising parties(US-Africa) to use the urgency of the moment to identify similar opportunities that would benefit the youth from both continents “who see solutions where others only see problems.”
Taking place between July 27-29, the US-Africa business summit intends to build sustainable partnerships and opportunities between key government and private sector decision-makers across America and the African continent.
With participation from over 1,000 U.S. and African business executives and government leaders, this year’s Summit intends to build new pathways to strengthen the economic partnership between the United States and Africa.
The Summit will spotlight the next phase of growth in the U.S.-Africa economic partnership, focusing on key strategies such as Health, Security, African regional and U.S.-Africa trade, The Future of Energy, Agribusiness, digital Transformation, Manufacturing Ecosystems, Trade Finance, Women and Diaspora-empowered trade among others.