News & Analysis: US-Africa relations

Multilateralism’s failure to tackle our biggest challenges is compounding them

“Our collective failure to end the pandemic now will create and compound even deeper and more costly problems in the future. The immediate knock-on effects, including for the West, will be severe. But this historic failure of multilateralism is also undermining the trust and incentives necessary for effective international cooperation on the other existential challenges of the day – most notably, climate change.”

via European Council on Foreign Relations

Strive Masiyiwa: “How can I say science has delivered a miracle to people who are dying?”

“The fact is, it’s not about sharing. It’s about allowing us access to the production capacity. If you loosen the contracts so that the supply capacity can be released to other nations, that is all we ask.”

via Milken Institute

South Africa’s WTO ambassador on the logic behind a COVID-19 IP waiver

“South Africa, Mlumbi-Peter said, was fully aware that IP was not the only barrier to ramping up vaccine production. Voluntary licences, technology transfer and the sharing of clinical data as well as trade secrets could all play a part in what she called the toolkit of combating the pandemic.”

via Financial Times

Scott Morris: ‘How China Lends’ and the Implications for Africa’s Economic Recovery

“Better disclosure of the terms of the contracts themselves would certainly be better practice going forward, and in times of stress, it can facilitate quicker and easier engagement with the key multilateral actors.”

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

TRIPS waiver: US support is a major step but no guarantee of COVID-19 vaccine equity

“The question is how to translate rights under WTO rules into access to medicines on the ground. The 2005 TRIPs amendment has only ever been used once in 2007 when Canada supplied generic antiretroviral drugs to Rwanda. Those involved subsequently criticised the amendment for being overly bureaucratic, costly and complicated.”

via The Conversation

Health chiefs salute progress in lifting patents on COVID-19 vaccines but say India’s crisis shows risks to Africa

“The United States support for a lifting of patents on COVID-19 vaccines in coming negotiations at the World Trade Organization is a big win for African campaigners and could offer new opportunities for local medical supply companies.”

via Africa Confidential

The Vaccine Pause Heard Round the World

“The stakes of vaccine confidence are very high, with COVID-19 infections surging across the globe at a clip of more than 700,000 new cases per day. As concerns arise about side effects, public health agencies have to move quickly to access data, assess risks, make clear decisions, and explain those decisions to the public. In doing so, these agencies must work together.”

via Foreign Affairs

Help or Hindrance? Vaccine Diplomacy in Africa

Africa has been identified as a battleground for vaccine diplomacy, where after receiving limited vaccines from western suppliers, countries have recently increasingly looked to China and Russia to bolster inoculation supplies. Feminist human rights practitioner, Mandipa Machacha weighs in on whether this all is a help or a hindrance to the continent.

via COVID HQ Africa

Yellen warns that slow vaccine rollout in poor countries poses threat to U.S., global economies

“Yellen called on richer countries to step up both economic and public health assistance to poorer nations reeling from COVID-19. She noted as many as 150 million people across the world risk falling into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis.”

via Washington Post

The Politics of Vaccine Donation and Diplomacy

“Ten countries are responsible for three-quarters of all doses administered worldwide, whereas 69 nations have yet to administer a single shot.”

via Think Global Health