Ramaphosa told the media that he, along with a number of heads of states, will be travelling to Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.
“Remember, when Covid-19 vaccines started being available, we were receiving them from manufacturers outside our continent because they had started developing the vaccines earlier.
“And they mass-produced them and they started being used by various locales in the world, including ourselves, and it started dawning on us that rather than relying on vaccines made elsewhere, we could also have the capacity.”
He pointed out that Africa already had a manufacturer, Aspen, which was producing vaccines. However, they were doing it under a contract rather than a licence that would allow them to manufacture the drug themselves.
“They have now acceded to manufacturing vaccines under a licence, where they will be able to manufacture vaccines from scratch. So already the rest of the continent is using vaccines that are made here in SA.
“We are saying, now that we have the capacity, we would like vaccines that are used for Africa, to be purchased on African soil, made in Africa, for Africans.”
Ramaphosa said he wants locally manufactured vaccines to be distributed around the world.
“It’s not a case of us wanting to continue being reliant on vaccines elsewhere. We are saying Covid-19, as much as it’s had a devastating effect on the world, it’s also given us a silver lining — capability to manufacture vaccines.”
He added that what underpinned his call was self-reliance on African vaccine capability, ability and distribution.