Egypt keen to support efforts to ensure vaccine rollout across Africa, PM Madbouly tells AU meeting

Ahram Online , Thursday 24 Jun 2021

Madbouly said Egypt's infrastructure and medical capabilities are ready to support the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative

Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has expressed Egypt's keenness to secure the rollout of coronavirus vaccines across Africa, whether via its current efforts to locally produce vaccines or by participating in the African Union initiative to jointly manufacture vaccines.

Addressing the African Union (AU) Bureau meeting on Thursday on behalf of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Madboly said Egypt has reached a deal to produce COVID-19 vaccines locally and seeks to share the benefits of this deal with African countries.

Egypt is currently manufacturing 2 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine through the production lines of the country's drugmaker VACSERA as part of a wider deal with the Chinese company to produce a total of 40 million doses in Egypt by the end of 2021.

Egypt is also in talks to locally manufacture the British AstraZeneca vaccine, as it seeks to become a manufacturing vaccine hub for Africa after meeting local needs.

Madbouly praised the Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing initiative launched by the AU in April, saying Egypt's infrastructure and medical capabilities are ready to support the initiative.

The initiative, which was launched in April, comes as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across Africa is facing delays.

Less than 2 percent of the 690 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered globally have been in Africa, where most countries received vaccines only five weeks ago and in small quantities, according to a report released by the World Health Organization in April.

Many African countries are relying on the global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX, which provides free shots to developing nations, but there have been growing concerns that the rollout of vaccination programmes could be delayed over supply shortages.

The PM highlighted the significance of international support for African efforts to recover from the economic ramifications of the pandemic.

He hailed the international initiatives aimed at mitigating the economic repercussions of the pandemic, including the Debt Service Suspension Initiative issued by the G20.

He also praised the International Monetary Fund’s initiatives to enhance global liquidity, including the new issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

Madbouly demanded that the share of SDRs for African countries should be increased to create financing mechanisms that enable middle and low-income countries to restore growth rates.

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