The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has hit hard at European countries for what he calls the hoarding of COVID-19 vaccines.
President Akufo-Addo insisted that the geopolitics attached to the distribution of the vaccines is not helping the fight against the pandemic.
Addressing the European Parliament in France on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, President Akufo-Addo said less than 10% of the population of Africa has been vaccinated against the virus as against 70% of the EU population, as of August 2021.
This he said, does not augur well for the collective fight against the virus. According to him, no one is safe until everyone is safe.
President Akufo-Addo thus charged the EU to ensure there is equitable distribution of vaccines across the board to ensure the collective safety of all.
“The unsavoury politics of vaccine nationalism we are witnessing could however potentially derail global efforts made at containing the pandemic. To date, less than 10% of Africa has been vaccinated in comparison to the EU for example which as of August has vaccinated 70% of its population.”
“The phenomenon of hoarding vaccines will worsen even further as countries begin to administer booster shots in response to the threats posed by the Omicron variant of the virus. I am a firm believer in the statement that no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
President Akufo-Addo recently criticised the travel bans issued against some African countries because of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus.He described the bans as instruments of immigration control.
“We repeated our firm opposition to all attempts to single out African countries for the imposition of travel bans, as instruments of immigration control, when we are told, for example, that the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which was recently sequenced and reported by South African scientists, was discovered much earlier in the Netherlands”.
His comments followed the decision by the US, UK and EU to bar entry to travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Egypt, Mozambique, Malawi and Nigeria, following the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.