France and the European Union (EU) have always been key players for global health. Recently, they supported the launch of the ACT-Accelerator (ACT-A), promoting an international response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and they have strongly mobilized during the Global Health Summit on May 21st, 2021, demonstrating again their particular role.
However, two years since the start of the pandemic, equitable and universal access to the anti-covid tools remain a major issue, particularly strong within the African continent.
The health crisis highlighted the lack of African sovereignty for vaccine production but also regarding tests, treatments, protective equipment, and medical oxygen. This pandemic revealed that some goods and services must be placed above the market economy and for which international solidarity should play its part. Unfortunately, we moved too fast from the promises of a post-pandemic world, where the general interest would get back on top to the sad reality where the unbridled pharma industry puts profits first and richer nations withdrew from cooperation.
Thus, the EU-AU summit must be the occasion to take the following urgent and essential decisions:
- Make the Vaccines a global public good and support the tech transfer to Africa for all anti-covid tools
- AU and EU member states agree on a common position at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the TRIPS waiver
- EU member states commit to reinforce the technologies access pools for Covid (MPP and CTAP) and reinforce production capacities to tackle Covid in Africa
- AU and EU member states increase the pressure on manufacturers so they support tech and know-how transfers on anti-covid tools, including vaccines, in African countries through a common declaration
- Give a new impetus to the multilateral response
- AU and EU member states reaffirm their political support to ACT-A
- EU member states reinforce their financial support toward ACT-A to meet the mid-2022 targets on vaccines coverage, tests, treatments, and health systems strengthening (HSS)
- AU and EU Heads of States renew their call for the ACT-A governance to better include representatives of recipient countries of the support from this initiative
- Reinvest on other poverty diseases and access to essential services
- AU and EU member states commit to increase their support to HSS and especially to basic healthcare to sustainably tackle inequalities regarding the right to health
- EU member states announce the launch of a TEI dedicated to HSS on the African continent to support this effort
- AU and EU member states renew their support to the Global Fund against aids, tuberculosis, and malaria to prepare a replenishment year that will call for more resources to get back on track in the fight against these three pandemics
- Increase the impact of EU rules on global health-related activities
- EU member states launch the renewal of their global health strategy in order to update their partnership with the African continent on this matter
- AU and EU member states commit to investing more, sustainably and in coordination on research and development (R&D) in health, on the co-creation and deployment of new, advanced technologies and medical products that answer the specific needs of countries and populations in Africa
- AU and EU member states couple these investments with clear counterparts to guarantee equitable access to technologies and products stemmed from R&D