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France’s Macron In Pledge To Help Africa Make Own Vaccine Supplies

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Agencies


President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday France would 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.

Speaking at a joint news conference with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria, Macron said Africa made up around 20% of the world’s need for vaccines but only 1% of vaccine production.

“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. Later on Friday, Macron opened another one 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.”

Macron is on the second and final leg of an Africa trip that included Rwanda.

He reiterated support for waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, a move supported by US President Joe Biden but opposed by Germany.

At the launch of his vaccine support initiative at Pretoria University, Macron called for regulated vaccine prices to prevent African nations being ripped off.