AFRICA – The United States and international partners are investing US$80 billion in Africa’s private sector to help end the COVID-19 pandemic and spur sustainable growth.
The commitment that the Group of Seven (G7) nations and international development banks announced in June will support renewable energy and infrastructure development, as well as Africa’s manufacturing, agriculture and technology sectors.
“The United States will continue to prioritize investments in vaccine manufacturing, COVID-19 response, climate mitigation and adaptation, and gender equity on the African continent,” said David Marchick, chief executive of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
Recent investments build on the more than US$100 billion the United States has invested in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years to strengthen health security and save lives.
Africa’s development leaders are welcoming the international investment as a step toward addressing the US$425 billion that the International Monetary Fund says sub-Saharan Africa needs to fight the pandemic and poverty.
“We know that the private sector will play a major role in financing Africa’s future by creating millions of jobs that are essential to ensuring sustained economic growth and poverty reduction,” said Makhtar Diop, managing director of the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.
The DFC and its partners, the African Union, France and Germany, are already boosting vaccine production and distribution in Africa.
On June 30, they announced a US$700 million investment in Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company, Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited.
The financing will enable the South African firm to produce up to 500 million doses of the U.S. producer Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine by 2022 for distribution through the African Union, the South African government and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), an international partnership dedicated to the equitable distribution of vaccines.
Aspen released its first batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines July 26.
The U.S. government, along with African and European development partners, is also aiding the Institut Pasteur de Dakar in boosting COVID-19 vaccine production in Dakar, Senegal, and strengthening health security in Africa.
Additionally, the U.S. is currently delivering 25 million vaccine doses to African nations as a part of the original 80 million doses promised by President Biden.
In June, Biden announced the U.S. would purchase an additional 500 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to distribute to low- and middle-income countries.
“The United States is committed to sustainably boosting Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity and vaccine access, while taking bold, immediate action to help African nations fight COVID-19,” U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power said.
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