Resentment at West over Covid response to Africa lingers on: Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa says African countries felt like they were "beggars" at the time they "needed access to vaccines."
According to Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, there is lingering bitterness toward the West regarding how it handled African nations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ramaphosa said African countries felt like they were "beggars" at the time they "needed access to vaccines" while speaking at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris.
Western countries "had bought all the vaccines in the world and were hogging them," according to the former African Union head.
"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 they felt like the northern hemisphere's life "is much more important than life in the global south."
The president of South Africa has criticized promises made by developed nations to assist developing countries in adapting to climate change.
He insisted that a commitment made in 2009 at a COP climate summit to contribute $100 billion a year had failed to materialize.
After Ramaphosa's recent trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin and in response to charges that the country provided armaments to the Kremlin covertly, which Pretoria has denied, South Africa's foreign policy is being closely examined in the West.
This month, Ramaphosa traveled to Moscow and Kiev as the head of a seven-nation African peace team to press for an end to the war in Ukraine, which has increased the cost of importing food and fertilizer for African customers.