20 June 2021 by IFEANYI OSITA
Stakeholders in the health and economy sectors want African Leaders to depend less on donor agencies and countries to achieve continental sovereignty in vaccines production and other needs.
They made the call at a one day webinar organised by an organ of the African Union, Coalition for Development in Africa, CoDA
The webinar with the theme: Vaccine Research and Development in Africa; Perspectives from the academics is part of programmes for the inauguration of an Independent Task Team on the Development of Vaccines and Equitable Universal Access to Essential Vaccines and Vaccination in Africa.
For the Professor of Robotics and Mechatronics, the former deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Professor Arthur Mutambara, covid-19 is a wake-up call for Africa not to continue to depend on the benevolence of other nations.
According to him, African countries need coordinated Vaccines and Vaccination strategies to be able to pull resources together and harness the African market.
He stressed that Africa must work together to resolve the issues around Vaccines and prepare to avert and tackle any future pandemic.
Professor Mutambara stressed the need for the involvement of the private sector from the continent for the production of Vaccines.
Contributing to the discussion, an expert on Economic Development and Policy who is also a Senior consultant with CoDA, Professor Sylvain Boko, pointed out that Vaccines and Vaccination issues are health and economic related which government and stakeholders must pay attention to.
Professor Sylvain who noted that the African continent represent about one point three billion Vaccines market called for collaborative efforts from public and the private sector to maximize the benefit to grow the economy of the continent
On his part, the President of the Pan Africa Manufacturers Association, Mr Mansur Ahmed was of the opinion that if Africa is going to solve its problems,it must do so internally.
Mr Ahmed while acknowledging the need for partnership with other nations, maintained that Africa must drive the initiative and begin to address the key challenges that confront the continent.
The President of the Pan Africa Manufacturers Association stressed the need to build manufacturing capacity across African countries for production of all it needs.
An International health expert, Dr Philip Onyebujoh believed that capacity building and joint efforts would ensure the production of Vaccines that would meet international standards.
Also a public health expert, professor of hematology and stem cells transplant Professor Godwin Bazuaye said there is need for African countries to engage in training of scientists and other experts on Vaccines production for consumption and export.
Earlier, the Executive Director CoDA,Ms Souad Aden-Osman restated the need for Africa to find local solutions to various challenges especially with Vaccines production.