Sal (Cabo Verde) – Cabo Verde President José Maria Neves on Thursday joined the development community in calling for urgent universal vaccine access as a way to mitigate the impact of Omicron and other variants of the Covid-19 virus.
The World Health Organization on Friday categorized Omicron as a Covid-19 “variant of concern”, signifying that it could be more contagious than other known mutations.
Neves told participants at the 2021 African Economic Conference that, although the world may have to live with Covid-19 for a few years, “we must act to manufacture our own vaccine and medicines to face this and other pandemics to come. We must find innovative mechanisms for financing and managing sustainable development, otherwise we will disappoint young Africans.”
“The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, besides being internal to each country, is at the same time a global fight, which requires global collaborative solutions. Everyone wins if the less developed countries have the necessary conditions to overcome this serious health, economic and social crisis and to leverage their sustainable development,” Neves said.
The 16th edition of the African Economic Conference is being held in a hybrid format in Sal, Cabo Verde, and online. It brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including policymakers, development institutions, the private sector, and researchers, to discuss ways to sustainably grow the continent’s development funding sources.
Rui Figueiredo Soares, Cabo Verde Foreign Affairs Minister, observed with concern the current pandemic situation. “It is hitting all countries without exception, hence this conference organized with the support of the African Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Economic Commission for Africa, could not have come at a better time.”