Adesina President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, has called for a change in narrative regarding how the continent handles the health of its 1.3 billion people. His suggestion was based on issues surrounding the pandemic and how other countries prioritized their own citizens over Africa.
Drawing from the experience of what he called “vaccine nationalism,” Dr. Adesina suggested that the continent must build capacity to help secure the health of its own people rather than live at the mercy of other countries.
“Africa cannot, and Africa must not, outsource the health security of its 1.3 billion people to the generosity and the benevolence of others. Africa must ensure health security for its people, and I will say that we must look at health, from the perspective of a healthcare defense system.”
He said. Dr. Adesina who made those remarks during a meeting with African ambassadors at the chancery of the Embassy of the Republic of Congo also added that, “it is very important that Africa’s voice be heard.”
He further said that there is a need for intense advocacy in the diaspora, aimed at changing Africa’s narrative to help attract more investments to the continent.
Ar. Adesina’s point on “vaccine nationalism” was equally amplified by Zimbabwean billionaire and businessman, Dr. Strive Masiyiwa who called out the European Union over what he also described as “vaccine apartheid” which keeps pushing African countries behind in terms of management of the deadly coronavirus. The Billionaire who is also a special envoy to the AU accused European vaccine producers of the deliberate concentration of production centers in Europe and also refusing to supply Africa. He clarified that Africans are not demanding a free vaccine but have the funds to procure them.
“We are not asking for donations. The fact we have money to buy vaccines, vaccines are not expensive, certainly not when it comes to the lives of our people. The poorest of the poor African countries have all stepped forward and paid deposits for us to buy vaccines. OK, but we need those European factories in the Netherlands, all those, Belgium, Italy, they must open them up and sell vaccines. We didn’t ask anyone for a donation. So, these are the facts”, Masiyiwa added.” He said