Mutambara: Africa Should Develop Own Covid-19 Vaccine

Zimbabwe’s former deputy prime minister, Arthur G.O. Mutambara, has said Africa should develop its own COVID-19 vaccine.

Mutambara speaks when African countries are warming up to procuring vaccines developed in developing countries including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Russia, China and others. Commenting on conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccines being developed overseas, Mutambara said:

The problem is that part of the history and experience of vaccines has been pretty negative for people of African descent, for example, the Tuskegee experiment. Blacks have also been victims of other medical experiments and in some cases, medical genocide. This is the context in which the conspiracy theories about vaccines arise.

However, with this pandemic, blacks/Africans can independently (hopefully) check the vaccines for safety and efficacy. They must do this. The racially inclined risks can be mitigated.

The conspiracy theories around vaccines are exaggerated and can be debunked. Africans can also check and ensure that there is uniform application of the vaccines across races and populations.

There should be no vaccines targeting certain groups, and not used in other groups. Hence the fears of vaccine abuse can be somewhat mitigated. We have to be vigilant, of course…

The tragedy of it all in the matter of vaccines is that there is no African country or Black-owned company producing a Covid-19 vaccine. The African is an observer – a subject and not a participant in vaccine development. This is a terrible indictment of all us people of African descent. Shame on us.

That there is a black doctor working on the vaccine at Pfizer is irrelevant and inconsequential. An African country or Black-owned company producing a vaccine – that’s what we need. It would allay these conspiracy theories. It will also give us agency and control as Africans.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not opposed to vaccines. I have already explained the basis and background of the conspiracies against vaccines. The justified concerns can be addressed and rendered irrelevant and innocuous by African agency. I support vaccines that we as Africans have checked out to be safe and efficacious. Ideally, we should develop our own vaccines using our African universities, pharmaceutical companies and experts, with the guidance, involvement and funding of our African governments.

How can 55 African governments, 1.3 billion Africans, a collective GDP of US$2.5 trillion, all these African businesses, universities, entrepreneurs, intellectuals and scientists fail to produce a single Covid-19 vaccine? This is beyond pathetic.

We need to get our act together. With this inexcusable ineptitude, why should other nations take us seriously? Really?

More: ZimLive

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