AFRICAN HEALTHCARE will be getting a boost, as African Development Bank, AfDB Group, plans to invest heavily in manufacturing domestic vaccines. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of AfDB, announced this on Friday, after the close of the 2021 Annual Meetings of the Bank, through a media statement on Saturday.

A strengthening support for Africa’s healthcare, this appears to be. According to the Bank’s statement, Adesina said only 51 per cent of public health facilities had basic water and sanitation, while 31 per cent of healthcare facilities had electricity. He outlined that Africa still imports 60 to 70 per cent of its pharmaceutical drugs.

“The lives of 1.2 billion people in Africa are at risk.  We must give hope to the poor, and the vulnerable, by ensuring that every African, regardless of their income level, gets access to quality healthcare, as well as health insurance and social protection,” AfDB president said.

He proposed an “African stability mechanism”, which should be a firewall against external shocks, which necessitated the Bank’s commitment to strengthen support to African countries. The Bank will act as “conduit for the International Monetary Fund, IMF, special drawing rights”, that would on-lend to African country. The Bank’s support is towards easing the economic and health impacts of the pandemic. 

Kenneth Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Finance and Economic Planning Minister, urged the AfDB to take a leading role in the continent’s recovery. He said: “Our bank, distinct in its role, has to be at the centre of Africa’s build-back, through targeted support to tackle Africa’s development challenges and lay the foundation to respond to future challenges”.