Inequality in accessing vaccines is not acceptable, says Seychelles' President
Ramkalawan spoke of the importance of a vaccination strategy for the economic progress of Africa at the summit. (State House)
(Seychelles News Agency) - As long as Africa is denied access to the COVID-19 vaccines, the restrictions on businesses will continue to affect relief efforts, Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan said in his inaugural address at the AU summit for heads of state and government on Saturday.
According to a press release, Ramkalawan spoke of the importance of a vaccination strategy for the economic progress of Africa at the summit, taking place from February 5-6 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
"The disparity and inequality in accessing vaccines is not acceptable! It is an injustice and it is morally wrong to accept that in February 2022, only 10 percent of Africa have been fully vaccinated."
Ramkalawan furthermore stressed the importance of peace, security and governance as foundations to enable further progress and socio-economic development of Africa.
"These are being undermined by conflicts, strife, insurgencies and terrorist activities on our continent. Not only must they be resolutely condemned, but they must, with equal vigour and determination, be combated and eliminated. Let us therefore collectively work towards the vision of an Africa that is free from conflict while allowing her children to live in peace and harmony," he said.
Ramkalawan talked about the threat that climate crisis poses for the survival of the planet especially for coastal and island nations like Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
"With populations, agricultural lands and infrastructure along the coastal zones, any rise in sea-level will have significant and profound effects on our very existence. If the present situation persists, we will suffer disproportionately with some of our islands disappearing. SIDS are victims; we refuse to pay the consequences for the irresponsible acts of others," he said.
Ramkalawan concluded that it is "not too late for all of us to act on the risks we face to protect humanity. More than ever, I am convinced that the African Union has the political will and commitment to lead by example."