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The Power of Together: African Member States close ranks on protecting African citizens

9 September, 2021

As the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, rich nations faced no financial difficulties in securing millions of vaccine doses to protect its citizens. In the scramble for vaccines, African nations risked being left behind.

Then came the unprecedented initiative by South Africa’s President and African Union (AU) COVID-19 Champion, Cyril Ramaphosa who announced on 5th Aug 2021, the rollout of 400 million vaccine doses to the African Union Member States and the Caribbean by the AU / African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT).

This marked a new dawn in Africa’s history. The outbreak of the pandemic saw the continent’s health systems overwhelmed, ushering the biggest economic blow Africa had felt in 25 years. With the setting up of AVAT, for the first time, African countries rallied their economic and diplomatic forces to speak as one strong group at the bargaining table for vaccines.