Stakeholders in health and economy want African leaders to depend less on the goodwill of foreign donor agencies and countries to achieve sovereignty in vaccines production.
They made the call at a one day webinar organised by an organ of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa CoDA.
The webinar with the theme: Vaccine Research and Development in Africa; Perspectives from the academics is part of programmes for the inauguration of an Independent Task Team on the Development of Vaccines and Equitable Universal Access to Essential Vaccines and Vaccination in Africa.
The Professor of Robotics and Mechatronics, the former deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Professor Arthur Mutambara, who noted that covid-19 is a wake-up call for African countries emphasized that Africa cannot continue to depend on the benevolence of of other nations in terms vaccines but that Africa need sovereignty in Vaccines production.
According to him, African countries need a coordinated Vaccines and Vaccination strategies to be able to pull resources together and harness the African market.
He stressed that Africa must work together to resolve the issues around Vaccines and urged Africans to prepare to avert and tackle future pandemic.
Professor Mutambara stressed the need for the involvement of the private sector from the continent for the production of Vaccines.
Contributing to the discussion, an expert on Economic Development and Policy who is also a Senior consultant with CoDA, Professor Sylvain Boko, pointed out that Vaccines and Vaccination issues are not just health issues but health and economic issues which government and stakeholders must pay attention to.
Professor Sylvain who noted that African continent represent about one point three billion Vaccines market called for collaborative efforts from public and the private sector.
On his part, the President of the Pan Africa Manufacturers Association, Mr Mansur Ahmed if Africa is going to solve its problems,it must do so internally.
Mr Ahmed wile acknowledging the need for partnership with other nations, maintained that Africa must drive the initiative and begin to address the key challenges that confront the continent.
The President of the Pan Africa Manufacturers Association stressed the need to build manufacturing capacity across African countries to enable the production of all it needs.
An International health expert, Dr Philip Onyebujoh believed that capacity building and joint efforts would ensure the production of Vaccines that would meet international standards.
Also a public health expert, professor of hematology and stem cells transplant Professor Godwin Bazuaye said there is the need for African countries to engage in training of scientists and other experts on Vaccines production to consumption and export.
Earlier, the Executive Director CoDA,Ms Souad Aden-Osman restated the need for need for Africa to find local solutions to various challenges especially with Vaccines production.