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France will send 10 million doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines against Covid-19 to Africa, via the African Union (AU), over the next three months, the Elysee announced on Monday, August 30.
This partnership between Paris and the AU provides that these doses “Will be allocated and distributed under the African Vaccine Acquisition Fund (AVAT) and the Global Vaccine Access Mechanism (Covax)”, two initiatives intended to enable Africa to try to catch up in vaccination compared to developed countries.
“The pandemic [de Covid-19] can only be overcome through intense cooperation between multilateral, regional and national actors ”, said President Emmanuel Macron, quoted in a press release. “I hope that we act together by leveraging the know-how and political legitimacy of African leaders and by relying on our solid partnership with the African Union”, he adds.
A group purchasing mechanism
For his part, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa described the French donation as “Strong and welcome gesture of human solidarity and political cooperation at a time when the world needs it most”.
During a meeting devoted to this subject with Mr. Macron in Pretoria in May, Mr. Ramaphosa had denounced “A vaccine apartheid” regretting that some countries receive a number “Unlimited” vaccines while a very small number of Africans are protected.
AVAT is a group purchasing mechanism to enable AU member states to procure enough vaccines to meet at least 50% of their needs. It is complementary to Covax, whose objective is to provide the remaining 50% through donations.
According to the Elysee, “Enough vaccines have already been purchased under the AVAT initiative to allow, by September 2022, the vaccination by African countries of 400 million people, or one third of the African population, at a cost of $ 3 billion “.