We are not beggars – SA president Ramaphosa makes case for Africans in Paris



South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa haa said that resentment towards the West still lingers over the treatment of African countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, on Friday June 23, Ramaphosa described how African nations “felt like we were beggars when we needed access to vaccines”.

The former head of the African Union said that Western nations “had bought all the vaccines in the world and were hogging them”.

“We resented that and it got worse: when we said we wanted to manufacture our own vaccines and when we went to the WTO (World Trade Organization), there was a lot of resistance, enormous resistance.

“We kept saying: what is more important? Life or profits by your big pharmaceutical companies?”

Ramaphosa added that “we felt like life in the northern hemisphere is much more important than life in the global south.”

A promise to provide $100 billion a year made at a COP climate summit in 2009 is yet to be fulfilled, he added.

The South African strongman also took aim at pledges by rich countries towards developing nations to help them adapt to climate change.

South Africa’s foreign policy under Ramaphosa is under scrutiny in the West after his recent visit to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin and following allegations that the country provided arms covertly to the Kremlin.

Ramaphosa led a 7-country African peace delegation to Moscow and Kyiv this month that pushed for an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has driven up the price of food and fertiliser imports for African consumers.

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