The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has called on stakeholders in Africa to begin to develop the required collaborations to enhance the capacity for local production of vaccines.
Osinbajo made this call on Thursday, November 11, while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting.
He said the local COVID-19 vaccine production is crucial for Africa for it to meet up with its counterparts around the world and for Africa to attain the high level of post-COVID-19 recovery recorded in more developed economies.
“Without vaccination of a huge number of its people, Africa remains at continued risk of socio-economic stagnation, because continuing infections including from new variants, will prevent full recovery.
“There is evidence that the economic rebound in other parts of the world is positively related to the extent of vaccinations that they have undertaken,” he said.
Osinbajo also appreciated the vaccines that have come to Africa through the COVAX Initiative and other bilateral donations, noting however that there remains much more to be done.
“We must ensure that while we are at it; we must develop the collaborations to be able to produce vaccines within Africa itself.”
Speaking further, he noted that “to be sure; we need resources that will help increase the scale and pace of vaccinations against COVID-19 in Africa. The high and upper-middle-income countries have achieved vaccination rates of over 80%; while very few African countries have reached the 5% level of vaccination.”
On the issue of Climate Change, Osinbajo said “it is another area in which global development is impacting Africa; and in which we need a unified response.
“It is particularly important for Africa Commonwealth governments to pay attention to this matter. In any event, the protection of the environment is a matter of core concern for the Commonwealth.
“The issue of climate change poses a number of dilemmas for African countries; and we must strive to find the right balance in shaping our responses.”
In this regard, he said “the international community must meet its pledges to Africa; and the developing world in terms of financing and technology; to support mitigation and adaptation to climate change.”
“The $100billion a year pledged by the wealthier economies; to help developing economies respond to the challenges of climate change has never been met.
“Such investments will help our economies to invest in renewable energies; and undertake climate-friendly agricultural practices, and green urban transportation.”