Angela Merkel convened again, on Friday 27 August 2021, a meeting of the “Compact with Africa”, an initiative that brought together twelve countries launched after the German Presidency of the G20 2017. If we previously spoke mainly about economics, the meeting has this time took place in hybrid form and was particularly devoted to the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines. It was also for the German Chancellor to say goodbye to Africa, a month before the election, which will mark her resignation from power.
as reported from Berlin, Pascal Thibaut
“Today we have vaccinated 60% of our population in Germany. In Africa it is only 2%. It is a dramatic injustice, says Angela Merkel.
“Injustice”, the word was also used by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to make this obvious difference. Angela Merkel has announced increased support for the Covax initiative, where Germany will donate 70 million doses of vaccine next year, instead of the 30 million planned.
In addition, African leaders appealed for the development of production on their continent. Concrete projects in Rwanda, Senegal or South Africa have been discussed with the German company BioNTech, which has developed a vaccine against Covid-19 which is marketed with American Pfizer.
► Listen again: “Compact with Africa”, a program to finance African projects
The President of the African Union, Félix Tshisekedi, also present in Berlin, also emphasizes the psychological importance of vaccines “made in Africa”.
“This will help to further calm the Africans and break down these conspiracy theories aimed at arousing Africans’ distrust of the vaccine,” the Congolese head of state said.
For Angela Merkel, Friday’s meeting was also an opportunity to say goodbye to her visitors. Cyril Ramaphosa spoke of “the master of the African continent”. The Chancellor is more committed to it than his predecessors, although the financial record for the Compact with Africa program is still mixed.
►Read also: The Social Democrats back in the game in the German general election