President Nana Akufo-Addo has made a passionate appeal to African countries to unite towards producing vaccines as Africa bears the brunt of international vaccine politics.
Addressing the Pan African Parliament in South Africa on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, Ghanaâ€™s President said the coronavirus pandemic must be an eye-opener for African countries on the need to work for the common good of the continent.
â€œOne thing about the pandemic of COVID-19 is that we must hasten the process of regional and continental intervention because acting together will boost our capacity to succeed. From our inability to make our own diagnostic test to the scramble of vaccines and to the shocks that our economy has suffered, it has resulted in the recession of the continent,â€ the President said.
Nana Akufo-Addo told the Pan African Parliament that Africaâ€™s inability to manufacture its own vaccines and the struggle to develop diagnostic test kits when COVID-19 was first recorded in Africa, is a clear indication that more needs to be done to boost quality healthcare delivery in Africa in the face of the pandemic.
â€œIt is obvious that we need each other, and more so in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We must develop our capacity to produce our own vaccines so that we can more effectively deal with future pandemics and not be dependent on foreign supplies and benevolence for the protection of our people,â€ he stated.
Akufo-Addo also appealed to the Pan African Parliament to support countries like South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, and others in the manufacturing of vaccines for the continent.
During his 24th COVID-19 address to the nation, Nana Akufo-Addo announced that the government has established a committee to formulate a concrete plan for vaccine development and manufacturing in Ghana.
President Nana Akufo-Addo is worried about external challenges that are currently working against Ghanaâ€™s vaccination, although he remains hopeful of meeting a nationwide vaccination target.
Addressing the country in a pre-recorded update on the measures his government is taking to against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, May 16, 2021, the President also announced that at least 20 million Ghanaian adults would be vaccinated by the end of the year.
â€œInternational vaccine politics and the unpredictability of the supply chain as well as the third wave of infections in some countries in Europe and Asia have meant that we have not been able to secure many vaccines and vaccinated as many Ghanaians as we would have wanted to at this stage," he disclosed.
A feature of the international vaccine politics that the President refers to is the deep inequality that has characterised global vaccine rollout.