ON 28 MAY 2021.
French President Emmanuel Macron said 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 the continent and western nations.
French President Emmanuel Macron has thrown his weight behind South Africa’s battle at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for a waiver that could see African countries manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.
President Macron met with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on Friday, during his first visit to South Africa. Speaking at a joint news conference, the two heads of state discussed the global COVID-19 response recovery plan. Pandemic issues took a centre stage in President Macron’s South Africa State Visit.
In his remarks President Macron said “Africa makes up about 20% of the world’s need for vaccines but only 1% of vaccine production. This is our role to help all the different countries to accelerate vaccination. For solidarity reasons because we have to help each other, but second as well for pure a pure efficiency rationale, because there is no way to fix the situation if everybody is not vaccinated. We advocate that COVID vaccines must be global public goods.”
President Macron also pledged to donate more than 30 million vaccine doses by the end of the year to the United Nations-backed Covax.
‘France is a friend of Africa, so Africa’s issues are our issues’ President Emanuel Macron
Embassy of France in South Africa
Department of International Relations and Cooperation, SA