Africa Building Partnerships to Make Covid Vaccines, Kagame Says

African nations are establishing partnerships to enable the production of coronavirus vaccines within the continent, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said.

The continent is “trying to find partners, to start manufacturing vaccines on our continent,” Kagame said in an interview at the Qatar Economic Forum on Monday. “We have the International Finance Corporation, we have the European Union, we have other partners who are willing to come and do that with our continent.”

Kagame spoke before the announcement later on Monday by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his French conterpart, Emmanuel Macron, of the establishment of Africa’s first messenger-RNA coronavirus-vaccine facility. Senegal and Rwanda are among other countries in talks to set up regional vaccine-manufacturing hubs, Kagame said.

Africa has one of lowest Covid-19 inoculation rates in the world. Less than 1% of the continent’s 1.1 billion inhabitants have received two doses of a vaccine, compared with the U.K. and the U.S., which have fully inoculated about 45% of their people.

For Rwanda’s vaccine-manufacturing plans, “we have already discussed with people who will help with the financing and in a few months I think we should hear a different story,” Kagame said.

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