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Covid-19: Africa must work together to promote vaccine production – Buhari

Ebuka George

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that for Africa to effectively tackle climate change, the continent would need more energy sources beyond renewable energy.

He said African leaders must continue to build sustainable power systems to accelerate development and create economic opportunities for the people, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

Buhari made the call at a meeting of the African Union on the New Partnership for African Development under the auspices of the 39th Session of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee at the margins of the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the virtual event, the President said the continent needs “to prepare itself more for Intra African collaboration to fight public health challenges, work together to promote vaccine production in Africa, and prompt response to climate change and the zero-emissions targets.”

The President also called for greater collaboration among Africans to effectively confront challenges such as those in climate change, public health such as local vaccine production among others.

Buhari said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has severely weakened our economies but it has also left important lessons. One is that Africa needs to prepare itself more for Intra African collaboration to fight public health challenges, especially those of pandemic scale.

“We must work together to promote vaccine production in Africa. The second issue I would like to raise is Africa’s response to climate change and the zero-emissions targets set in Paris and at subsequent climate change meetings.

“We must of course contribute our quota in protecting the environment and preventing climate change. But we must also continue to build sustainable power systems to accelerate development and create economic opportunities for our people.”

Speaking further about climate change, the President said, “We need far more energy than the renewable sources can immediately provide. Therefore, we cannot but adopt gas as a transition fuel.

“We must together make clear to the developed world that the current trend of withholding funds for investment in gas development is the wrong thing to do at this time.”

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