It has taken a pandemic as severe as Covid-19 to jostle Sub-Saharan Africa into action to bolster its vaccine production capacity and capability, ... argues Stavros Nicolaou of Aspen, Africa's biggest drug company. For the first time in the region’s history, the continent is pooling its resources and aggregating volumes to mount a collective and co-ordinated response for its coronavirus vaccine needs.
Now that Africa’s much-vaunted free trade area has launched on 1 January, there will be big fanfare and even bigger pressure mounting for South Africa’s Wamkele Mene to make it a success.
Building up the continent’s interconnections and market of more than 1 billion people is being touted as a means to fight poverty, bring development and reduce the continent’s dependence on fickle foreign markets.
Mene, elected secretary general of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in February 2020, tells The Africa Report: “I don’t want anybody to be under the illusion this is going to be easy. It’s going to be difficult, but we’ve got to do it.”