Kinshasa, May 20th 2021 (CPA).– The President of the Republic Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo considered it necessary that the vaccine also be produced on the African continent to reassure the populations, in his intervention during a press briefing organized at the closing of Paris summit on the financing of African economies, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and Senegalese Macky Sall.
While acknowledging that the populations are little mobilized on the subject of vaccination, President Felix Tshisekedi said that this is also due to the fact that vaccines come from elsewhere.
“There is a need to aim for vaccine production in Africa. I believe that this will have a fairly significant impact on the attitude of the populations, obviously the economic fallout also that will follow”, insisted Félix Tshisekedi, adding“. It is true that there are some concerns I owe you to admit as an African and especially President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, that there is not enough mobilization on this side on the part of our populations. It is a certain concern which is due to the fact in my opinion, that the vaccine comes from elsewhere », said President Tshisekedi.
The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo has also placed particular emphasis on access to intellectual property rights.
For him, it is important that African countries obtain this right, to have the possibility of manufacturing the vaccine against Covid-19.
“Africa is a relatively spared continent in terms of health, with 130,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to official figures, out of a global total of nearly 3.4 million. But it pays a very heavy economic and social price, for lack of having been able, like the richest countries, to launch pharaonic recovery plans”, he said.
USD 100 billion, first result of the « New Deal » between Africa and its traditional partners
President Felix Tshisekedi welcomed the mobilization of USD 100 billion to help African economies, while acknowledging that this objective would clearly be insufficient.
For Senegalese President Macky Sall, this goal sets « a new start, a new deal for Africa ».
« Not all problems will be solved overnight, but this is a paradigm shift », said President Macron, who recalled that the financing needs for Africa from 2021 to 2025 are estimated at USD 385 billion.
Beyond financial contributions, there was also talk of the lifting of patents to allow Africa to produce its own vaccines.
« We support technology transfers and work that has been asked of the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization and the Medicines Patent Pool (supported by the UN) to lift all ownership constraints intellectual which block the production of any type of vaccine whatsoever ”, declared the French President, Emmanuel Macron.
He also defends « the idea that wealthy countries can reallocate their SDR (IMF reserves) so that they go to poor countries, in particular Africa, so that the 33 billion today become 100 billion ».
Emmanuel Macron has, however, warned that part of the funds will have to be allocated to the fight against terrorism which still affects the Sahel.
He said that in addition to the pandemic, a « security burden rests on Africa » and that it is « imperative to update the financial rules taking into account this major issue ».
This summit was attended by some twenty African Heads of State and European leaders.
Several organizations were also represented by their directors, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, or the African Development Bank (ADB). ACP /