Kagame urges African leaders to put Africa first before partnering with the world

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The first in-person World Economic Forum event since the COVID-19 pandemic started continues to bring together global leaders and experts to discuss a variety of issues ranging from the food crisis and geopolitical conflict to climate change and employment.

President Paul Kagame, who is in Davos, Switzerland, with many other African leaders, has issued a rallying cry to his African counterparts to prioritize the continent before partnering with the rest of the world.

During his speech, the President used an example of a pandemic that exposed not only Africa’s but also global weaknesses.

“For us (Africa), it exposed that we don’t even have the public health infrastructure that should be in place with or without a pandemic. That is why in some cases when vaccines came, they could not roll them out; they were not able to vaccinate people across the board because the infrastructure was lacking to do that,” he added.

President Kagame also stated that when the vaccines were discovered, Africa was openly told to wait with no shame, a lesson he believes is important for Africa to learn.

“And there are many things we can do. When we work together, even more problems can be solved,” he said.

“And there are many things we can do. When we work together, even more problems can be solved,” he said.

At the sideline of the event, the President welcomed the ‘Accord for a Healthier World’ initiative announced by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Wednesday, which is expected to improve health equity for 1.2 billion People Living in 45 Lower-Income Countries.

Under the initiative, Pfizer will provide all its current and future patent-protected medicines and vaccines available in the U.S. or EU on a not-for-profit basis to 45 lower-income countries, including Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda, KT Press reported.

This will include diagnostic expertise, healthcare professional education and training, supply chain management, and other infrastructure improvements.

President Kagame welcomed Pfizer’s initiative, stating that rapid and affordable access to the most advanced medicines and vaccines is the cornerstone of global health equity.

“Pfizer’s commitment under the Accord program establishes a new standard in this regard, which we hope others will follow.”

“Rwanda is delighted to participate in Accord alongside partner countries, and we look forward to adding these life-saving medicines and vaccines to our public health arsenal,” he said.

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