20:19 GMT20 June 2021
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    ST.PETERSBURG (Sputnik), Jonathan Rowson - The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is interested in the acquisition of Russia's COVID-19 vaccines, and is also exploring options to begin producing them on the African continent, Amr Kamel, the bank's executive VP, told Sputnik, adding that both parties are currently holding talks on the matter.

    "We're now looking much closer at also supporting manufacturing within the continent because we realise that, every time a pandemic happens, we don't want to end up in the same place, and we've already identified two or three different companies that can basically start that," he said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

    Kamel noted that Russia is among the potential partners, and the bank has already begun discussions on vaccine supplies and manufacturing options.

    "We are also discussing with our Russian counterparts that they can assist, firstly to supply the continent, and also establish manufacturing on the continent", he added.
    A view shows packages of Russian coronavirus vaccine EpiVacCorona, developed by the Vektor State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, at the production unit Vector-BiAlgam, in Novosibirsk, Russia
    © Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev
    A view shows packages of Russian coronavirus vaccine EpiVacCorona, developed by the Vektor State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, at the production unit Vector-BiAlgam, in Novosibirsk, Russia

    Afreximbank, a multilateral African financial institution under the African Development Bank, has so far played a big role in vaccination efforts on the continent. The bank has launched a $3-billion support programme to help countries deal with the aftermath of the pandemic and established a $2-billion facility to provide guarantees to vaccine suppliers for countries that cannot fully finance the deals.

    This year's edition of SPIEF is taking place in person from Wednesday through Saturday. The Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is an official media partner of Russia's flagship forum.

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    SPIEF, SPIEF, vaccines, vaccine, Sputnik V, Vaccine, Russia, Africa, Africa
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