Speaking at a virtual meeting of the African Union Bureau and Chairs of Regional Economic Communities chaired by AU chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Kagame said that this will ensure that Africa does not miss out on the vaccine or get insufficient quantities.
“I would like to request the Chairperson to consider appointing one of the Heads of State to work closely with Strive (Masiyiwa) who is already on the task to focus on ensuring that Africa obtains the vaccine once it is available,” the President said.
Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean Business Mogul is working closely with the AU to acquire medical supplies and preventive gear for the continent.
It came to be, at the outbreak of the pandemic, that countries making individual orders of medical supplies were having a hard time accessing the supplies due to the magnitude of orders globally as well as some restrictions by some economic regions globally. In response to the challenge, the African Union teamed up and appointed Masiyiwa to lead in the coordination of procurement efforts.
If the same model of consolidating resources and orders is implemented in vaccine procurement, experts believe that it could improve chances of vaccine access across the continent.
Kagame expressed the need to advance the domestic health financing agenda that was propelled by the AU.
“This is the moment to look closely at our health budgets and see where we can improve both the quantity and quality of spending,” he said.
“Ultimately, the best defense against the COVID pandemic, as well as future health emergencies, is a strong, resilient, and sustainable health system,” said the Head of the State.