The President of Ghana who doubles as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Akufo-Addo bemoans the unprepared status of the continent at the face of pandemics and also urged member states to produce their own vaccine. According to him, Africans cannot “cannot afford to be naked next time.”
The ECOWAS chair made this comment during the 59th session of the regional body’s ordinary meeting held in Accra, the Capital of Ghana on 19th June, 2021 attended by heads of states and representatives from fifteen West African countries.
This call follows the inability of African countries to secure adequate vaccines coupled with the devastating effects covid had on the continent. Struck with the pandemic, leaders of Africa, a continent with numerous resources, who have over the years failed to make necessary investments in the health sector to help build capacity towards such outbreaks were left with no option than to look for solutions elsewhere.
In the recent meeting, the ECOWAS chair stated that, “all the countries in the region have taken delivery of some vaccines, supplemented by procurement by some member states.” He revealed that, “we note, however, that the quantities (of vaccines) received are wholly insufficient.”. In order to fight the spread of COVID, African countries have to borrow more loans, spend exorbitant amounts procuring vaccines.
He further urged that, “we must thus continue to work on the purchase and production of vaccines in our region. We have to encourage members of our community such as Nigeria, Senegal, and my own country Ghana who are making the efforts to produce their own vaccines. We cannot afford to be naked the next time.”