InternationalAPA




S/Africa: Ramaphosa, Macron to hold Covid-19 vaccine talks

Fresh from a historic visit to Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in South Africa on Friday for a one-day…

Fresh from a historic visit to Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in South Africa on Friday for a one-day visit during which he will discuss with President Cyril Ramaphosa on enabling Africa to access coronavirus manufacturing capabilities.According to the South African presidency, the two leaders are expected to discuss a temporary waiver of the World Trade Organisation property rights over the manufacturing of the vaccines.

The idea is being pushed by South Africa and India, who argue that the waiver would spur vaccine production in developing countries in Africa and other regions, the presidency said.

During the visit, the two leaders would launch a programme at the University of Pretoria to support African Covid-19 vaccine production, a project backed by the European Union, the United States and World Bank.

Africa’s most industrialised economy, but also its worst-hit by Covid-19, South Africa has recorded more than 1.6 million cases of the disease – with more than 57,000 fatalities.

However, only one percent of its population of around 59 million has been vaccinated — most of them health workers and people aged 60 or above as the campaign got off to a shaky start — with AstraZeneca vaccines abandoned in favour of Johnson & Johnson vaccines and later the Pfizer ones during the rolling out exercise.

Macron arrived in the country from a historic visit to Rwanda where he acknowledged French responsibility in the 1994 genocide, which saw the killing of nearly one million people – mainly Tutsis – by a Hutu militia working in cahoots with French troops at the time.  

Follow the live information on our channel