The African Union has condemned vaccine nationalism saying it is self-defeating and suicidal in a global pandemic.
The African Union Chairperson Mohamed Fattou decried disproportionate delays in the delivery of vaccines to Africa in the wake of a new Covid-19 variant that has raised alarm across the world.
Several countries have imposed travel restrictions amid fears over the potential spread of Omicron.
Speaking during the G7 summit, the AU Chair called out world leaders, challenging them to honour their commitments with urgency.
“With regard to the delivery of vaccines, Africa saw disproportionate delays, in comparison to the rest of the world, not only of what we ordered on the market but also those pledged under the Covax facility,” said Fattou.
Adding that: “No one is safe until we all are, to be able to truly fight this pandemic. Now more than ever the world must honour its commitments with urgency.”
According to Fattou, Africa has received only 264 million doses of vaccines out of the 8.5 billion doses that have so far been delivered around the globe, meaning that only 7% of Africans have been vaccinated, compared to 70% of people around the world.
“Let me be clear when this global pandemic started, Africa asked for one thing only – to have the same access to vaccines at the same price when they became available. Two years later, we witnessed that these assurances of global solidarity were ignored. “Noted AU Chairperson.
He also decried the travel restrictions imposed on South Africa due to concerns over the new variant. Other countries affected are Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, due to concerns over the new variant.
Fattou urged the G7 to join USA in support of South Africa and India initiative at the World Trade Organisation to waive intellectual property rights to COVID vaccines.