Communiqué of the Video-Teleconference (vtc) Meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government extended to African Vaccine Manufacturing countries held on 10 may 2022

His Excellency President Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) convened a video-teleconference Meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government extended to the African Vaccine Manufacturing Countries on 10 May 2022.
Members of the Bureau of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government participated in the Meeting as follows: His Excellency, President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, His Excellency, President João Lourenço of the Republic of Angola and His Excellency Mohamed Menfi, Chairman of the Presidential Council of the State of Libya.
The African Vaccine Manufacturing Countries were represented in the Meeting as follows:
• H.E. President Nana Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana;
• H.E President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda;
• H.E President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa
• H.E Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
• H.E Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria;
• H.E Hon. Dr. Edwin G. Dikoloti, Minister of Health and Wellness of the Republic of Botswana;
• H.E Khalid Atef Abdul Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Arab Republic of Egypt;
• H.E Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
• H.E. Dr. Monica Musenero Masanza, Minister for Science Technology and Innovation, Republic of Uganda
• H.E Ambassador Mohamed Arrouchi, Permanent Representative, Kingdom of Morocco;
• Mrs. Mercy Mwangangi, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kenya;
• Dr. Hechmi Louzir, Director of Pasteur Institute of Tunisia and Member of the Scientific Committee against COVID-19
His Excellency President Emmanuel Macron, Chairperson of the Council of the European Union and President of the French Republic was also in attendance of the meeting.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission H.E Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa and the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Dr John Nkengasong, also participated in the teleconference Meeting.
Ms.Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(UNECA), Professor Benedict Oramah, President of African-Export Import (AFREXIM) Bank and Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, AU Special Envoy and coordinator of the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) were also in attendance.

Access to the vaccine manufactured in Africa to the International purchasing and distribution Platforms.
The Heads of State and Government welcomed the comprehensive briefing by the H.E Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, AU Champion for the COVID-19 Pandemic Response which highlighted the achievements of the AU COVID-19 Commission and the significant progress made towards vaccine production on the Continent.
The Heads of State and Government commended the achievements realized thus far, including the establishment of vaccine manufacturing facilities.
The Heads of State and Government commended the efforts undertaken by African countries to enhance health security in Africa by local production of vaccines and expressed concern regarding the low levels of purchase of vaccines from African vaccine manufacturers by both local and international procurers.
The Heads of State and Government expressed strong concern that global vaccines purchasing facilities like the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) have been slow to support the continent to develop its own vaccine manufacturing capacity by using only manufacturing hubs outside of Africa and therefore hampering African-based manufacturing. They invited all organisations and agencies responsible for bulk purchasing of vaccines such as African Governments, the COVAX facility, Gavi, UNICEF, inter alia, to prioritize procuring vaccines meant for African countries from African producers. The Bureau called for GAVI and other partners to offtake at least 30 per cent of all vaccines produced by the continent for global consumption.
The Heads of State and Government further expressed concern regarding the low COVID-19 vaccination rate currently at 16% on the Continent and reiterated the need for all necessary measures to be put in place by African Governments with support from Africa CDC to increase vaccination rates across the Continent.
The Heads of State and Government expressed support to the recommendations made by the AU Champion for the COVID-19 Response which include. Firstly, to establish a working group of vaccine manufacturers in Africa, coordinated by the Africa CDC as part of the Partnership for Africa Vaccine Manufacturing, inclusive of those countries aspiring to produce vaccines. Secondly, set up procurement mechanisms, through AVAT/T, Africa CDC, and Common African Pooled Procurement System (CAPPS) for public health products, to ensure certainty of demand for African-manufactured vaccines and other relevant pharmaceutical products by the end of the year. This is a critical aspect of securing off-take agreements for the vaccines and essential medicines and health products. Thirdly, set up a mechanism to support manufacturers with business case development. Fourthly, to engage in high-level advocacy with GAVI, COVAX, African governments and other stakeholders to encourage support for the emerging African vaccine manufacturing industry. Finally, and very importantly, committed to increase the demand for vaccines in Africa with a political will and commitment to reach the vaccination targets agreed to by the AU and to meet the 70 per cent target set by the WHO by the end of the year. As such committed to fulfilling the significant lag in deliveries relative to the contractual delivery programme through AVAT/T and Afrexim Bank, and called on Member States to take delivery of their contracted vaccine doses and make payments on due date.
The Heads of State and Government underscored the need for the Continent to have a united position to ensure that the multilateral agencies and philanthropists that provide vaccines to Africa should source them from African producers, hence guaranteeing Africa access to the vaccine market.
The Heads of State and Government also reiterated their support on the need to strengthen African institutions including the Africa CDC, the African Medicines Agency (AMA), and the Africa Vaccines Acquisition Task team and Trust (AVAT/T).
The Bureau of the Assembly recognized the great efforts done by key partners such as the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), the AVAT/T, and the immense support provided by the continent’s technical and financial institutions, particularly the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
The Heads of State and Government commended H.E Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, AU Champion for the COVID-19 Pandemic Response for his continued strategic guidance and leadership in effectively leading the continental response to COVID-19 on the Continent.

The impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis in Africa
The Heads of State and Government acknowledged with appreciation, the comprehensive briefing by the Chairperson of the Commission highlighting the socio-economic, political and security impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the Continent and welcomed his proposal of establishing a Technical Task Force that will provide an analytical watch tool on the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on Africa to Member States.
The Heads of State and Government welcomed the update by His Excellency President Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic and Chairperson of the Council of the European Union further highlighting African countries need to intensify efforts for vaccination roll out for the populace as well as the adverse impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the globe. He also shared with the meeting the french initiative on food security supported by the european partners. He indicated also the need to engage with Russia and Ukraine to open corridors for food imports.
The Heads of State and Government noted with concern that this conflict will continue derail the modest gains in the path to global post-COVID economic recovery for African economies and encouraged Russia and Ukraine to consider dialogue and negotiation as a means to resolving the conflict.
The Heads of State and Government encouraged the Chairperson of the Union, His Excellency President Macky Sall to have interaction with both President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and President Volodymr Zelenskyy of Ukraine to present the African Union collective view on the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on Africa. It was also agreed that President Macky Sall, in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union, could pay a visit to Russia and Ukraine accompanied by the Chairperson of the Commission, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Elections of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP)

The Bureau of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government welcomed the briefing by the Chairperson of the Commission regarding the holding of the PAP elections and took note of the consultations that have been undertaken thereof, by the Regional Caucuses.
The Bureau of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government recommended that the elections should be held at the Pan African Parliament Headquarters in Midrand, South Africa and acknowledged with appreciation, the presence of the Chairperson of the Commission during the election process.
The Bureau called upon the South African Government to take all necessary measures in order to guarantee the safety of the Parliamentarians.
The Bureau of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government expressed concern regarding the low level of ratification of the 2014 Malabo Protocol, and requested the Commission to embark on a campaign to speed up the ratification of the Protocol.

Consultations on the completion of the composition of the Bureau of the AU Assembly for the year 2022
The Bureau of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government acknowledged, the on-going consultations of the Eastern Africa region and the need to fill the 1st Vice-Chairperson position.
The Bureau of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government encouraged the Eastern Africa region to finalize the consultations with a view to fully constituting the Bureau and agreed that the Chairperson of the Assembly, His Excellency President Macky Sall and His Excellency President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo will facilitate consultations in order to expedite Regional Consensus.
Ends.

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