China targets 1bn vaccine doses for Africa next year

08Dec 2021
James Kandoya
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
China targets 1bn vaccine doses for Africa next year

​​​​​​​China will deliver a further 1bn doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Africa to help African countries reach the target of vaccinating 60 percent of the African population by 2022, its resident ambassador said yesterday.

Chen Mingjian.

Chen Mingjian, the Chinese ambassador in Tanzania told reporters in a virtual briefing that the country had unveiled nine development programmes for Tanzania and other African countries to be implemented in the next three years.

The programmes to be implemented will cover areas such as health, trade and investment promotion, digital innovation, green development, capacity building, cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Peace and security as well as skills development areas are also covered, she said.

She was giving highlights and outcomes of a ministerial conference of the Forum China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that was addressed virtually by Chinese President Xi Jinping. China will take more measures to support African countries including Tanzania in capacity building, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, the envoy noted.

The 1bn/- Covid-19 vaccine doses include 600m doses as a direct donation and 400m doses to be provided through joint production by Chinese companies and joint venture partners in African countries. China will undertake 10 medical and health projects for African countries, sending 1,500 medical personnel and public health experts in implementing those programmes.

China has undertaken ten poverty reduction and agricultural projects for Africa, sending 500 agricultural experts to the continent as part of its poverty reduction and agricultural development programme, she stated,

President Xi has also put forward proposals for building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, centred on fighting COVID-19 with solidarity, deepening practical cooperation, promoting green development and upholding equity and justice, she asserted.

Elaborating on the plan for 1bn doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Africa, she cited remarks from President Xi that the world needs to put people and their lives first, be guided by science,, emphasizing on the need to support waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines.

The world must truly ensure accessibility and affordability of vaccines in Africa to bridge the immunization gap, the Chinese leader had declared.

Key announcements by the president included a pledge to boost Chinese imports of African products, its participation in African poverty reduction programmes, a green development programme, a capacity building programme and a digital innovation programme.

The spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation sets out essential features and notable advantages of China-Africa relations, manifesting the strategic character and wide ranging inclusiveness of China-Africa cooperation, the envoy noted.

She elaborated that President Xi put forward China-Africa friendship and cooperation as featuring sincere friendship and equality, win-win setting for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, progressing with the times, plus the spirit of openness and inclusiveness.

The envoy reaffirmed her government commitment to work together with African friends to promote and carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation from generation to generation.

China will this year mark the 50th anniversaries of the restoration of China’s lawful seat in the United Nations, she pointed out, expressing gratitude to Tanzania for its outstanding contribution in the matter.

 “China will never forget the profound friendship of African countries and will remain guided by the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests,” she added, citing further remarks from President Xi.