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Angola backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver

Angola's President Joao Lourenco (right) with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Paris May 17, 2021   -  
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LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP or licensors


Angola has welcomed a call by Tuesday's Paris summit to lift patent protections on Covid-19 vaccines for developing countries produce life-saving jabs.

Angola's finance minister said her country fully supports the summit's call and the African Union's (AU) vision to boost vaccine production on the continent.

"The motto was set for reflection around giving up intellectual [patents] of vaccinesso that technology and knowledge can be relocated to some regions of Africa, so that local production can better meet demand," said Vera Daves de Sousa, finance minister of Angola.

"We have to make a self-assessment of our capacity to receive and of the teams to receive this transfer of knowledge. We do not rule out this possibility," she said.

Vaccine-making centers

In April, the AU announced the launch of a partnership to manufacture vaccines at five research centres to be built on the continent within the next 15 years.

The five centres will be located in the north, south, east, west and centre of Africa over the next 10-15 years, according to John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an AU agency.

Curently, only one percent of all vaccines used in Africa are made on the continent. The AU aims to increase that share to 60 percent in 20 years.

The proposal to waive patents has been supported by the United States, the European Union and the World Trade Organisation.  

Portugal, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, said Africa's pandemic recovery needs stronger support.

"Covid's situation has basically made it clear that never have Europe and Africa been so close together and so dependent on each other because none of us will be safe until we are all vaccinated and, on the other hand, the economic recovery of each one will be all the greater if it is accompanied by the economic recovery of all," said Prime Minister António Costa

The Paris Summit called for a re-allocation of the IMF Special Drawing Rights to increase Africa's share from 30 billion to 100 billion dollars.