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Health

Head of State defends the possibility of African countries to buy vaccines against covid-19

The head of state defended this Friday that Angola and other African countries be given the possibility to buy vaccines against covid-19 with their own resources, considering that there are "immense" difficulties in accessing the market.

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João Lourenço acknowledged that Angola and, in general, the African continent, have benefited from the solidarity of countries with greater capacity, especially in the production and purchase of vaccines, which have, via the Covax initiative, or bilaterally, donated vaccines.

However, in the opinion of the President of the Republic, this solidarity should go further.

"The solidarity shown so far has been limited to the donation of vaccines, which we consider insufficient. What we want to say is that another form of expression of solidarity will be to open up to our countries the possibility of us, with our resources, to acquire the vaccines we need. That part is failing," said Lourenço.

"We are having immense difficulties in gaining access to the vaccine market. I would not say now that we should be helped to build capacity for own production of vaccines, because this is a process that takes time - it will certainly not be for this pandemic, perhaps for other future ones, but what we want is to open the possibility for us, in addition to what we have received for free, to be able to acquire with our resources the vaccines that should be available on the market", he defended.

The President was speaking in a virtual and recorded debate with his Portuguese counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, which took place within the scope of the Euro-Africa Forum.

Stressing that Angola would be available to buy vaccines against covid-19, the head of state stressed that the country had installed a large cooling capacity necessary for the conservation of immunization agents.

"We have installed at the level of the whole country a good capacity for testing, but above all a good capacity for cold storage for the conservation of vaccines," he said.

According to João Lourenço, the country has the capacity to conserve vaccines either in the form of conservation, freezing or even deep freezing.

Thus, it has a storage capacity "together with around 70 million doses of vaccines, concentrated mainly in the city of Luanda", but which can easily be placed "anywhere in the country", he stressed.

"So in terms of logistics we're not bad," he concluded.

The debate between the Portuguese and Angolan Presidents of the Republic, in digital format, was the high point of the 4th edition of the Euro-Africa Forum, which began on Wednesday and ended this Friday, in an initiative of the Portuguese Diaspora Council , chaired by António Calçada.

The Portuguese Diaspora Council is a Portuguese global network founded in 2012 and whose main objective is to enhance the brand, image and reputation of Portugal. It currently has 90 advisers, who work in different fields, from culture to economics, passing through citizenship and science.

These advisors are spread across 27 countries, 47 cities and five continents.

The debate focused on cooperation between Europe and Africa, and on economic relations between the two continents.

The forum's agenda included seven panels: Economic Perspectives for Europe and Africa after the Free Trade Agreement, Digital Work and Digital Platforms and Technologies, The Digital ID Revolution, Paving the Way for Green Growth and Inclusive Transitions, Culture and Market, and Media and Digitization.

Among the speakers were businessmen, activists, leaders, public and private decision makers, and other actors who contributed to the dialogue between Africa and Europe.

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