Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advised world leaders not to handle the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines like test kits and reagents which was ordered by rich countries to the detriment of the developing ones, especially in Africa.
Osinbajo gave the advice Friday at the virtual 2020 EURAFRICA Forum themed “Towards a realistic Euro-African partnership during and beyond the COVID-19 era”.
The summit featured presentations from notable global leaders including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Guterres, the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Mr Ulisses Correia Silva, among others speakers.
The EurAfrican Forum aims to foster stronger collaboration between Europe and Africa, and better promote a shared green and inclusive growth, among other objectives.
The vice president, in a statement released on Saturday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines should be done in an equitable and affordable manner rather than on the basis of the highest bidder in order to effectively contain the spread of coronavirus across the globe.
Osinbajo said the first thing that comes to mind “is to ensure widespread and equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine.”
According to him, “Europe should work closely with Africa to ensure that when a vaccine is finally deployed it should not be on the basis of the highest bidder but rather be made available at an affordable and in an accessible manner.
“This is a matter that should not be taken for granted.
“We saw during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, in richer parts of the world, that orders for test kits and reagents by African countries were deemed too small and tended to be ignored.”