South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday stressed the need to boost the establishment of the BRICS vaccine research and development center in the country during the virtual 12th BRICS Summit chaired by Russia, reported Africa News.
“The current experience demonstrates the need to accelerate the establishment of the BRICS vaccine research and development center in South Africa as agreed in the 2018 Johannesburg declaration,” Ramaphosa said.
The South African countries added that the clinical testing of the vaccines needs to include African citizens to ensure that the vaccines are appropriate for them. He said that his country is already a part of several research initiatives with continental and international partners, including the global effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a COVID 19 vaccine.
The virtual summit is being held under the theme “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
Talking about the summit, Mr. Ramaphosa said the event was taking place when cooperation among countries was paramount.
“We are meeting at a time of global crisis, a time that calls for cooperation and dialogue between the nations of the world,” he said.
The South African president added that the event called on BRICS members to unite and provide leadership. He also urged member countries and the international community to support a stimulus package for African countries in an effort to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This will enable African countries to contain the disease and rebuild our damaged economies,” Mr. Ramaphosa noted.
He suggested that trade and investment ties between BRICS countries must be strengthened to improve economic recoveries. He also called for BRICS strategy for economic partnerships 2025 to be reviewed.
The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) represents half of the world’s population or over 3.6 billion people. The summit was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.