S.Africa's Ramaphosa to multilateral agencies: buy COVID vaccines from African providers

FILE PHOTO: South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa gives a statement on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination, during a European Union – African Union summit, in Brussels, Belgium February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s president told a global COVID-19 summit on Thursday that multilateral agencies and philanthropic organisations should buy vaccines and booster doses from African manufacturers to ensure that manufacturing capacity on the continent was retained.

South African firm Aspen’s COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity is at risk because of a lack of orders.

“International agencies that have had a lot of money donated to (them) for purchasing and procuring vaccines for developing economy countries are not buying vaccines from African vaccine manufacturers. Even for those vaccines that are destined for African countries. This immediately just devalues the whole process of local manufacturing,” President Cyril Ramaphosa told the summit. “This, ladies and gentlemen, must change.”

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