Biovac to manufacture and distribute Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine doses within Africa
Cape Town based, specialist biotech company, Biovac, has been appointed to manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for distribution within the African Union, making it the first company in Africa to produce an mRNA-based vaccine.
Biovac is set to immediately commence technical transfer activities, which includes on-site development and equipment installation activities. Biovac will obtain drug substance from facilities in Europe, and manufacturing of finished doses will commence in 2022. At full operational capacity, the annual COVID-19 vaccine production will exceed 100 million finished doses annually. All doses will exclusively be distributed within the 55 member states that make up the African Union. Biovac expects the facility will be brought into the Pfizer-BioNTech supply chain by the end of 2021.
by Mr Dusit Manapan, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
Thailand is a dedicated advocate for global sustainable development. The Kingdom has been promoting its homegrown Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) as an alternative approach to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). First introduced by King Bhumibol Adulyadej after the Asian financial crisis in 1997, SEP has become Thailand’s development concept that is universally applicable.
The philosophy is a culmination of His Majesty’s reflections from decades of extensive tours and conversations with villagers around the country. Even the grounds of Chitralada Villa, his royal palace, were used for experimenting agricultural projects that could be extended to other areas. This royal legacy remains the core of Thailand’s national development efforts to this day.
SEP provides us with a foundation, and acts as a compass towards sustainability, based on three interrelated principles and two pillars. The first principle is moderation, which means producing and consuming within one’s capacity, and avoiding overindulgence. The second one is reasonableness, or the use of our mental faculties to assess the causes and consequences of actions on our well-being, our household and our community. Prudence is the third principle, which refers to risk management so as to be prepared for impacts from any disruptions. Additionally, the two critical pillars needed to implement SEP principles successfully are knowledge, and ethics and virtues. The former enables us to effectively plan and execute developmental activities. The latter fosters human development by emphasizing honesty, altruism, and perseverance, with the ultimate goal to create active, engaged citizens, and to promote good governance.
Pictured (l-r) Ambassador Ilya Rogachev of Russia, Ambassador Mehdi Agha Jafari of Iran, Ambassador André William Anguile of Gabon, Ambassador Mairin Moreno Mérida of Venezuela, Ambassador Rodolfo Benitez Verson of Cuba, Ambassador Mohamed Yeslem Beisat of Saharawi and Ambassador Salih Omar Abdu of Eritrea at the bust of Simón Bolívar at the Pretoria Art Museum
The Battle of Carabobo, on 24 June 1821, was fought between independence fighters, led by Venezuelan General Simón Bolívar, and the Royalist forces, led by Spanish Field Marshal Miguel de la Torre. Bolívar's decisive victory at Carabobo led to the independence of Venezuela and establishment of the Republic of Gran Colombia.
In South Africa Mrs Mairin Moreno Mérida, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela held a wreath-laying ceremony at the bust of Simón Bolívar at the Pretoria Art Museum on 24 June 2021 to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Battle of Carabobo. Ambassador Moreno Mérida said that Venezuelans and people throughout the world celebrate this day with with great pride, as this Battle led by Liberator Simón Bolívar sealed the independence process for Venezuela, the consolidation of La Gran Colombia and also led to the liberation of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
The “No Name Campaign”: a game-changer in ensuring all African children acquire their legal identity
In June 2020, the African Union and UNICEF launched the No Name Campaign, an initiative aimed at promoting the right for every child in Africa to a legal identity, and therefore to justice. With barely half of the children under 5 years living on the continent registered at birth, thereby denying millions of others the ability to enjoy their human rights, the No Name Campaign calls on Governments and relevant stakeholders to accelerate measures that have proven efficient to provide children with a legal identity.
The COVID-19 pandemic still poses a challenge to the access to basic services such as birth registration. However some countries have recorded progress in ensuring birth registration services are still accessible even during the pandemic, an indication of the effectiveness of good and sustainable practices advocated for and supported by the African Union Commission and UNICEF to enable the realization of the vision for universal birth registration in Africa by 2030. In a joint AU-UNICEF Editorial published on June 2021, the No Name Campaign continues to advocate for acceleration of progresses on civil registration systems.