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ECOWAS chairman calls for West Africa to produce Covid-19 vaccines locally

FACING a global shortage of the Covid-19 vaccines supply, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday urged West African countries to continue the production of the vaccines.

Akufo-Addo, also the Ghanaian president, said at the opening of the 59th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State of the subregional bloc that the issue of Covid-19 was a major headache for the leaders of West Africa.

Moreover, he added that although the initial supply of the Covax AstraZeneca vaccines had supported subregional efforts to suppress the spread of the virus, ‘the quantities received were woefully inadequate.’

‘We must, thus, continue to work on the purchase and production of vaccines in our region. We must encourage Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal which are making the effort to produce vaccines locally. We cannot afford to be naked the next time,’ said Akufo-Addo.

Akufo-Addo said the other issues the ECOWAS leaders would take decisions on at the summit included terrorism and violent extremism, peace and security, maritime security, health and rapid economic recovery after the pandemic.

State leaders of the sub-regional group, except the presidents of Mali and Senegal, gathered in Ghana for the annual summit.

 

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