China to provide further 1 Billion vaccine doses to Africa

Photo: Cooper Inveen | Reuters

China says it will supply additional 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Africa over the next three years and encourages Chinese firms to spend at least $US10 billion ($14 billion) in the region.

The UK has previously sent roughly 200 million pills to Africa, where vaccination rates have fallen behind due to increased worry about the spread of the novel Omicron form of COVID-19, which was discovered in southern Africa.

Xi said 600 million tablets would be donated and 400 million doses would be distributed through other ways, such as collaborative manufacturing by Chinese firms and relevant African countries, in a speech delivered via video connection at the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

"We must continue to battle COVID together," Xi said during the meeting, adding that China will deploy 1,500 medical personnel to Africa.

Xi said a China-Africa cross-border yuan center will be established to give African financial institutions a $US10 billion credit line, but he didn't elaborate.

He stated that China will offer $US10 billion in trade credit to assist African exports, as well as establish a zone for trade and economic cooperation and a China-Africa industrial park.

The statement comes in the wake of criticism of China's infrastructure-for-commodities arrangements, which some analysts believe are putting nations in unsustainable debt.

Congo is presently considering a $6 billion contract with Chinese investors, citing worries that it is not sufficiently advantageous to the country.

According to a report by international law firm Baker McKenzie, the Belt and Road Initiative, in which Chinese institutions finance major infrastructure in primarily developing countries, has slowed: Chinese bank financing for infrastructure projects in Africa fell from $US11 billion in 2017 to $US3.3 billion in 2020.

President Xi stated that China's imports from Africa, which is one of the country's main sources of crude oil and minerals, will exceed $US300 billion in the next three years, and that the two countries will collaborate in areas such as health, digital innovation, trade promotion, and green development.

South Africa's President, Cyril Ramaphosa, commended China for its assistance and stated that African economies should be able to produce COVID-19 vaccines.

While criticizing the travel restrictions placed on South Africa, he added that discussions at the World Trade Organization on a temporary TRIPS waiver to make COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments available to everybody needed to be finalized.

Following the World Health Organization's announcement last week of a new COVID-19 strain of concern, termed Omicron, travel prohibitions have been placed globally on anyone traveling from southern Africa.

Publish : 2021-11-30 23:01:00

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