Ramaphosa, African leaders head to EU-AU summit in Brussels
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa is in Brussels to attend the European Union-African Union summit on Thursday and Friday.
Ramaphosa will participate in discussions on climate change and the energy transition during the first day’s sessions, along with a roundtable on technology and transportation. On Friday, he will serve as chair during a roundtable discussion on health systems and vaccine production.
The summit is the first to be held since 2017, when Côte d’Ivoire served as host. Since it’s the first such summit since the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the focus is expected to turn toward vaccines and the plans to launch the first such production facility in Rwanda.
The presidents of Rwanda, Senegal and Ghana met with BioNTech executives in Germany on Wednesday to announce a modular container design that will serve as the foundation for African vaccine production. Meanwhile, the EU-AU summit schedule includes a press conference on technology transfer to make the mRNA vaccines.
“Leaders are expected to discuss how both continents can build greater prosperity. The aim is to launch an ambitious Africa-Europe Investment Package, taking into account global challenges such as climate change and the current health crisis,” said the EU in a statement. “They should also be talking about tools and solutions to promote stability and security through a renewed peace and security architecture.”
Although the Russia-Ukraine situation is not on the agenda, European leaders attending the Africa summit will participate in a one-hour briefing prior to the summit’s start.
Image: Republic of South Africa file