Leaders: Africa’s COVID-19 fight is vital for world security

Dec 5, 2021, 7:09 PM | Updated: Dec 6, 2021, 9:15 am

DIAMNIADIO, Senegal (AP) — Travel restrictions imposed on South Africa and other African nations for telling the world about the omicron variant are hypocritical, harsh and not supported by science, South Africa’s president said Monday, recalling the phrase used by the U.N. chief, who called such measures “travel apartheid.”

Speaking at the Dakar International Forum for Peace and Security, President Cypril Ramaphosa said the restrictions are punishing the very people and governments that helped inform the world of a new coronavirus variant.

“When South African scientists discovered omicron … they immediately took on the responsibility of informing the world, the entire world, that a new variant is coming through. And what is the result?” he asked, replying that is was punishment.

Ramaphosa said such countries have resorted not to science but their own self-interests. “We say those bans must be removed with immediate effect,” he declared.

Ramaphosa said the travel restrictions affect struggling economies in the region that rely on tourism. The pandemic, access to vaccines and inequalities for the African continent were major points for the leader in addressing peace and security for the continent.

He spoke beside Senegalese President Macky Sall, Niger President Mohamed Bazoum and African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, among other world leaders, who addressed issues of insecurity, the pandemic and what is needed to move the continent forward.

“Beyond COVID-19, we are looking at how the continent of Africa can bolster its own health processes and systems so that we can withstand future pandemics,” he said, adding that trade and investments between African countries must be deepened.

“The most critical aspect at this time, however, is the ongoing negotiation at the World Trade Organization for a temporary waiver of the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights agreement for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.

Ramaphosa said, with the WTO negotiations, “this is where we really see that the interests of the more developed economies, the rich countries … their refusal to accede to this proposal,” adding that “they are only interested in advancing the interests of their citizens, not the citizens of the whole world.”

South Africa and Senegal, which hosts the annual conference, are in line to begin producing COVID-19 vaccines next year.

“The task facing us as African nations is to drive the recovery, but the recovery that is sustainable, that is inclusive,” he said

Sall, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of international solidarity in this time of uncertainty.

“The emergence of a new variant in several countries is a reminder that we are all exposed … and in a state that commits us to be resilient, determined and combative as necessary in the face of the harmful effects of a double health and economic crisis,” he said, noting that Africa is also “particularly vulnerable to climate change, the intensification of terrorist attacks and the resurgence of coups d’état. The emergency is here.”

Sall said no individual government or nation or continent can ensure collective security, only international solidarity.

“Environmental and health sectors, organized crime, piracy, cybercrime, migration, and all other cross-border challenges, no country will be able to face solely,” Sall said. “This means that peace and security in Africa are an integral part of peace and security in the world.”

___

Follow all AP stories on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A villager, dressed in a traditional bear costume, celebrates the Malanka festival in the village o...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Ukrainians observe pagan-rooted new year festival

KRASNOILSK, Ukraine (AP) — Dressed as goats, bears, oxen and cranes, many Ukrainians ring in the new year in the colorful rituals of the Malanka holiday. Malanka, which draws on pagan folk tales, marks the new year according to the Julian calendar, meaning it falls on Jan. 13-14. In the festivities, celebrants go from house […]
1 day ago
A man repairs a 10-meter wooden row boat, built in the Nordic clinker boat tradition, at the Viking...
Associated Press

UNESCO lists Viking-era wooden sailboats on heritage list

ROSKILDE, Denmark (AP) — For thousands of years, wooden sailboats allowed the peoples of Northern Europe to spread trade, influence and sometimes war across seas and continents. In December, the U.N.’s culture agency added Nordic “clinker boats” to its list of traditions that represent the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and […]
1 day ago
Migrants gather near the Hungarian border, outside of the village of Martonosh, Serbia, Thursday, J...
Associated Press

Migrants at Hungary border become part of election campaign

MAJDAN, Serbia (AP) — A group of migrants huddles beside a small, smoky fire inside an abandoned building in northern Serbia, the last moments of warmth before they set out into the driving snow toward the razor wire, cameras and sensors of Hungary’s electrified border fence. A few hours later, they return, their efforts to […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History

Today in History Today is Sunday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2022. There are 342 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 23, 2020, Chinese state media said the city of Wuhan would be shutting down outbound flights and trains, trying to halt the spread of a new virus that […]
1 day ago
Aleena Mir, a journalist with Kashmir Walla, records the news bulletin inside a studio of her offic...
Associated Press

In Kashmir, India batters press freedom — and journalists

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — For five years, Sajad Gul wrote about conflict wracking his homeland, a disputed Himalayan territory where a violent armed rebellion and India’s brutal counterinsurgency have raged for over three decades. That changed on a snowy Wednesday night in January with a knock at his house. Gul was surrounded by Indian soldiers […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Fake ambulance with 28 migrants aboard found in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities have detected many strange schemes to smuggle Central American migrants to the U.S. border, but on Saturday they said they found a new one: a fake ambulance loaded with 28 Nicaraguans, including nine unaccompanied children. Mexico’s Interior Department said the vehicle had been painted with fake logos from a […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Leaders: Africa’s COVID-19 fight is vital for world security