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We can and must do more to speed up vaccine distribution in Africa – Kagame

By IGIHE
On 22 September 2021 at 10:24

President Paul Kagame has stressed the need to beef up efforts to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for benefits of the entire world.

Kagame made the revelation on Tuesday 21st September 2021 at the 76th United Nations General Assembly held in a hybrid format to contain the spread of COVID-19.

As he delivered remarks, Kagame said that fighting COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the international system like never before due to inequality and inappropriate sharing of vaccines in some instances but emphasized that there is evidence of the spirit of global solidarity and fairness which exemplified the best values towards achieving a common goal.

He pointed out an example of the Covax initiative launched by World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.

Kagame said that the initiative has had significant impact to tackle vaccine deficit on the African continent.

“The Covax mechanism, despite its limitations, is one such case. Without this system, Africa’s vaccine deficit would be even more severe. But we can and must do more to speed up vaccine distribution in Africa. Doing so, benefits the entire world,” he said.

So far, Africa has secured only 2% out of six billion COVID-19 vaccines distributed globally while some of developed countries have vaccinated 60% of their populations.

Kagame commended the positive steps from various companies and partners towards building local vaccine manufacturing capacity and stressed the need to harness the ‘positive momentum to build long-term pandemic resilience where it is needed most’.

The President also reminisced on global cooperation to continue supporting countries affected by COVID-19.

“The cooperation at the G7 and G20 to issue new Special Drawing Rights is another positive example. A further voluntary reallocation of new SDRs to countries that need them most, will help create the fiscal space required for a faster and more equitable recovery from the pandemic, “he said.

Concerning the issue of climate change, Kagame said that the commitment to mitigate related effects must be put at the center of ‘our efforts’ considering the fact that the severity of related disasters is increasing year-by-year.

Other persistent issues worldwide include bad leadership which sometimes triggers chaos and undermines attained progress.

Kagame reminded participants of the importance of citizen centered governance and accountability.

“This not only guarantees well-being and material progress but also security, stability, and confidence in the future,” he said.

As days go by, terrorism and extremism continue increasing gradually across the world going hand in hand with acts that fuel negative ideologies.

Kagame called for concerted efforts to dismantle such extremist ideologies.

“The extremist ideologies that drive terrorism and genocide must be named, identified early, and dismantled, without ambiguity or hesitation,” he said.

The 76th session was organized under the theme "Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations."

President Paul Kagame has stressed the need to beef up efforts to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for benefits of the entire world.

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