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How to build Africa’s healthcare defence system, by Adesina

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
07 February 2022   |   3:33 am
President of African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has warned that Africa risks outsourcing the security of the lives of its 1.4 billion people to the benevolence of others...

[FILES] Adesina. Photo: TWITTER/NGRPRESIDENT

Buhari to rally ECOWAS leaders on restoring normalcy in Guinea-Bissau
• Nigeria re-elected into AU Security Council

President of African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has warned that Africa risks outsourcing the security of the lives of its 1.4 billion people to the benevolence of others if its leaders do not build the continent’s healthcare defence system.

He disclosed this in a speech at the weekend, titled, ‘Mobilising Financing for Africa’s Accelerated Economic Recovery, Development and Integration’, at the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa

Adesina regretted that while developed countries have moved to booster shots in the fight against COVID-19, Africa is still struggling with basic shots.

He outlined three strategic priorities for building the continent’s healthcare defence system: “First, building Africa’s quality healthcare infrastructure; second, building Africa’s pharmaceutical industry; and third, building Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.”

He revealed that Africa needs $600 million to $1.3 billion to meet its goal of attaining 60 per cent vaccine production by 2040, stressing that investing in health is investing in national security.

He also said AfDB plans to invest $3 billion to support pharmaceutical and vaccines manufacturing capacity in Africa.

Urging African leaders to “drastically mobilise more resources,” Adesina said: “To address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and support economic recovery, Africa will need some $484 billion over the next three years. To eliminate extreme poverty by 2030, the continent will need $414 – $784 billion per year. Africa will need $7-$15 billion a year to deal with climate change. The continent will also need between $68 – $108 billion per year to fix the infrastructure financing gap.”

THIS came as President Muhammadu Buhari assured Guinea-Bissau he would rally other leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on how normalcy could be restored to the country.

Buhari gave the assurance on the sidelines of the African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia when he met with Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea-Bissau, Suzi Barbosa.

According to a statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari received a comprehensive briefing on the coup attempt to oust President Umaru Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau, which was aborted by loyalist forces.

“They attempted to kill President Embalo. They destroyed the presidential palace with bazookas, killed 11 young people. It took about five hours to restore order. It was a nightmare,” he said.

ALSO, Nigeria has been re-elected into the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) for another three-year mandate (2022-2025) to represent the West African region. 

The announcement was contained in a statement released Saturday by Nigerian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the African Union, and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

MEANWHILE, Buhari and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, have agreed that African growth and development will require strong, visionary leadership that caters for the needs of the people, and effectively strengthens institutions that encourage peaceful co-existence while providing disincentives to conflicts and coups.

At a meeting between both leaders at the Headquarters of the African Union, Buhari commended the efforts of the Prime Minister in maintaining peace and unity in the country and dedication to ensuring fairness and justice in development.

He urged the Ethiopian leader to stay focused on keeping the country together, in spite of difficulties, assuring that Nigeria will continue to support efforts in peaceful co-existence and unity.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister thanked the President for support to the country over the years, on national and personal endeavours, particularly in encouraging unity and stability. He added that collective and visionary leadership will move the continent forward.