President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has warned of the global economic consequences of delayed vaccination in Africa.
In an op-ed published on 7 February on the British news website The Guardian, the Rwandan leader pointed to a “nationalism” of Covid-19 vaccines on the part of the United States and Europe.
According to Kagame, delaying the vaccination of the poorest countries could undermine decades of progress in human development, while investing in vaccination for all would benefit international trade in the near future.
Given the current market structure, he says, African countries will need the active support of the major powers to gain access to vaccines at fair prices.
Rwanda is expecting the delivery of just over a million doses – mainly of AstraZeneca’s vaccine – by the end of February, under the WHO’s Covax programme.
Rwanda on Monday allowed resumption of businesses in the capital Kigali with essential staff, not more than 30%, as the country began easing its second coronavirus lockdown in the capital.
The lockdown was imposed in the capital on Jan. 18, following a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
Official COVID-19 figures released last week in the country indicated that from Jan. 1 to 29, students were the most infected group of people with 1,167 infections, followed by farmers with 969, traders 812, health personnel 536, and teachers with 184 infections.