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Africa Still Sees COVID Glass Half Empty — African CDC Chief | GZERO Media

Africa still sees COVID glass half empty — African CDC chief

Is the pandemic over? Depends on where you are, according to Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"If you are sitting in Africa, they have the glasses half empty.

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Can the World Learn Lessons From Vaccine Inequity? | Missed Shot | GZERO Media

Can the world learn lessons from vaccine inequity?

GZERO Media and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation convened leading experts in public health, research, development, and philanthropy on Thursday to discuss the uneven state of global recovery from health and economic perspectives. Participants included moderator Natasha Kimani of Africa No Filter; Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer; José Manuel Barroso, chair of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control; Melanie Saville, director of vaccine research and development for CEPI; and Mark Suzman, CEO of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They discussed vaccine equity and how we can end the COVID pandemic in a way that better equips the world for similar challenges in the future.

On many streets in the UK and US, it’s almost possible to forget that there’s an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With so many westerners double vaccinated and boosted, the threat of the omicron variant has eased. In fact, the CDC just lifted mask recommendations for much of the US. But that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. For many countries, that’s far from the case.

Moderator Natasha Kimani, the research and media programs lead at Africa No Filter, kicked off the discussion by asking where things stand today as the world marks the second anniversary of the pandemic.

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Africa Needs Reachable Climate Goals, Says DRC Lawmaker Jeanine Mabunda | Global Stage

Africa needs reachable climate goals, says DRC lawmaker Jeanine Mabunda

Africa is barely responsible for today's climate crisis, yet African governments are being asked to stop using fossil fuels like everyone else. That just won't work, says DRC member of parliament and former speaker Jeanine Mabunda Lioko, unless rich nations make good on their climate finance pledges for the continent. Africa, she explains, needs "concrete and reachable goals" that provide access to reliable energy, and there will be a lot of pressure to deliver on promises ahead of the next COP climate summit, which will take place in an African country.

Mabunda spoke during a live Global Stage event, "Climate Crisis: Is net zero really possible?" Watch the full event here.

Gabriella Turrisi

What is Turkey doing in Africa?

If you had to guess which current world leader has made the most trips to Africa, who would you say? China's Xi Jinping? Nope, hardly — he's been there just four times. France's Emmanuel Macron? Pas de tout.

The answer may surprise you: it's Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who's been to the continent more times than the leader(s) of any other non-African state. Just this week he notched his 28th visit, with stops in Angola, Nigeria, and Togo. Sure, being in power for two decades creates a lot of opportunities for exotic travel, but even Russia's Vladimir Putin isn't close: he's been to Africa just five times, all to visit South Africa or Egypt.

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A person holds a placard as supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters march to demand a rollout of COVID vaccines, in Pretoria, South Africa.

REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

What We’re Watching: African vaccine hub, Russia woos Taliban

Moderna plans African vaccine hub: Vaccine maker Moderna will spend $500 million to build a new facility in Africa that can produce 500 million annual doses of the company's COVID jab, which along with Pfizer, uses complex mRNA technology that can't be easily transferred. (Pfizer is already constructing a similar vaccine hub for local production in South Africa). Indeed, this is great news for the continent, where barely 4 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, due to lack of supplies coming in from wealthy donor countries and the COVAX facility. What's more, Moderna plans to use its hub to develop other vaccines against other infectious diseases rife across Africa like Zika or regular influenza. Still, the facility won't be ready for at least two more years, so in the near term African countries will continue relying on foreign suppliers to inoculate their populations against COVID, prolonging the pandemic.

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Want Africa to Grow? Get People and Businesses Online: Africa Expert | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Want Africa to grow? Get people and businesses online: Africa expert

There's a big opportunity for African countries to take advantage of the pandemic — if they can get online. "Greater internet connectivity can accelerate growth in tremendous ways," says Eurasia Group's top Africa analyst Amaka Anku. One of them would be formalizing the informal sector, which is very large and hard to tax: "It's much easier if people are paying using digital payments," she explains, but governments also need to do their part by cutting red tape to encourage investment.

Anku weighed in during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft during the 76th UN General Assembly.

Learn more: Should internet be free for everyone? A Global Stage debate

Ian Bremmer: COVID Hypocrisy & Misinformation | Quick Take | GZERO Media

COVID hypocrisy & misinformation

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here from sunny Nantucket and going to be here for a little bit. Thought we would talk about the latest on COVID. Certainly, we had hoped we'd be talking less about it at this point, at least in terms of the developed world. A combination of the transmissibility of Delta variant and the extraordinary misinformation around vaccines and COVID treatment means that we are not in the position that many certainly had hoped we would be today.

The United States is the biggest problem on this front. We are awash in vaccines. Operation Warp Speed was an enormous success. The best vaccines in the world, the most effective mRNA, the United States doing everything it can to get secure doses for the entire country quick, more quickly than any other major economy in the world, and now we're having a hard time convincing people to take them. The politics around this are nasty and as divided as the country, absolutely not what you want to see in response to a health crisis.

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How One Ugandan Activist Was Literally “Cropped Out” of the Climate Conversation | GZERO World

How one Ugandan climate activist was literally “cropped out” of the climate conversation

24-year-old Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate recounts how in 2020 she was cropped out of a photo at Davos of her with other white climate activists (like Greta Thunberg) and what it revealed about how people of color and people in developing countries, like those in Africa, are frequently excluded from the climate conversation.

Watch the episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Predictable disaster and the surprising history of shocks

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