Africa shouldn’t be begging for vaccines, but rather producing them, according to the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.
The AfDB will support the continent’s efforts to produce doses as part of the African Union’s vaccines development plan, Adesina said during the opening ceremony of the Abidjan-based lender’s annual meeting Wednesday, reports Bloomberg.
It also intends to commit $3 billion to help advance the pharmaceutical industry in Africa, which produces less than 1% of its vaccines, he told governors in a virtual summit.
Less than 1.1% of the continent’s 1.1 billion inhabitants have received two doses of a vaccine, compared with the U.K. and the U.S., which have fully inoculated about half of their people.
Africa lost as much as $190 billion in gross domestic product to the pandemic and will need about $425 billion by 2030 to support its recovery, Adesina said.
“The recovery is conditional on access to vaccines, and the resolution of Africa’s debt,” he said.