Rwanda: Kagame Honoured in U.S. for 'Exemplary Response' to Covid-19

President Paul Kagame (file photo).
14 December 2022

President Paul Kagame earlier this week received the 2022 Outstanding African Leadership Award from the American Academy of Achievement for "exemplary Covid-19 response".

Kagame also presented the Golden Plate Award to President Macky Sall of Senegal and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of World Trade Organization. The Rwandan leader himself received the same award back in 2017.

Rwanda announced the first confirmed case of coronavirus in March 2020.

In September 2021, the World Health Organisation, commended Rwanda's vaccination drive, after the country reached the September global target which was to fully vaccinate 10 percent of its population against Covid-19.

By this time, only 14 African countries had achieved the first target and only three countries had achieved the 40 per cent target.

In December 2021, Rwanda announced that it had achieved its target of administering two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to 30 percent of the population before the end of 2021.

A total of 3,880,262 people had been double-jabbed, while 6,388,237 had received one dose by December 7, 2021.

According to recent data, by September 2022, over 81 percent of the population were fully vaccinated.

The country is also administering the second booster dose to high-risk people including those aged 65 and above.

In June 2021, Rwanda signed a Rwf3.6 billion agreement with the European Union (EU) to enhance the attractiveness of Rwanda for investments in vaccine manufacturing.

In June 2022, President Paul Kagame led the ceremony to break ground for the construction of the BioNTech vaccine manufacturing plant in Rwanda that will promote scalable mRNA vaccine production in Africa.

The manufacturing plant for mRNA-based vaccines is being built in the Kigali Special Economic Zone located in Masoro-Munini, Gasabo District, in a section earmarked for biopharma manufacturing.

WHO Director-General Tedros said the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the need for significantly greater local production of vaccines and other essential products in all regions of the world, especially in Africa which relies heavily on imported products and was left behind in the global rush for Covid-19 vaccines.

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