World leaders, on the sidelines of a health event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, September 21, expressed the urgent need to increase production of and access to the Covid-19 vaccine in the wake of a pandemic that has caused unprecedented economic losses and health system collapse in Africa.
An opportunity for the President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, during the panel, to stress that « what is needed in the long term is to strengthen Africa’s pharmaceutical capacity.
That is why he announced that the AfDB would contribute US$ 3 billion to the development of the African pharmaceutical industry over the next 10 years. He said that in order to protect the continent from future pandemics and other health crises, it was necessary to strengthen Africa’s manufacturing and health care capacities.
« Africa cannot outsource its health to the rest of the world. We need to build Africa’s indigenous manufacturing capacity… We need to make sure, » Adesina said, addressing what he said was one of the biggest lessons of the pandemic and the need for Africa to rely on itself.