China has pledged to supply any vaccine against coronavirus to African first free of charge.
China is leading the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine and its scientists are largely pinning their hopes on a technology that has been used for decades.
Five out of 10 potential vaccines undergoing clinical trials have been developed by Chinese scientists, while a sixth is the result of a partnership between a Chinese company and a German biotech firm, according to the World Health Organisation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to an online coronavirus forum with the leaders of several African nations on Thursday.
‘We gathered here with our new and old friends through video to discuss anti-epidemic cooperation and cement China-Africa brotherhood,’ said Xi in a speech on Wednesday aired on state media.
‘We are making good on our promises at the earlier Beijing summit with concrete efforts, as well as contributing to the global anti-epidemic cooperation. We believe that humans will defeat the epidemic ultimately, and Chinese and African people will definitely live a better life,’ Xi said.
Xi added China would push the Group of 20 to slow down debt repayment for African nations and that China’s construction of a new Africa Centre of Disease Control headquarters would start ‘ahead of schedule’ this year, despite the pandemic.
State media reported China has sent 30 million testing kits, 10,000 ventilators 80 million masks monthly to Africa, in addition to teams of experts to help nations fight the coronavirus.
Credit: Africa Briefing