KIGALI, (The Southern African Times) – Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday said his country is building the capacity to manufacture vaccines to reduce dependence on “unpredictable” supply sources.
“In keeping with our goal of self-reliance in all important aspects, we are working to build our capabilities to manufacture vaccines and other medications in Rwanda. This will reduce our dependence on supply sources that are unpredictable or dependent on other interests,” Kagame said in a televised video message to mark the 27th Liberation Day, while acknowledging the process will take time.
The central African country marks the Liberation Day, known as Kwibohora locally, every year on July 4, when the Rwandan Patriotic Army, the armed wing of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) during the liberation struggle, ended the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over 1 million lives.
“This year, we could not celebrate Liberation Day in the usual manner. This is why we must continue our fight against the current surge in COVID-19 cases,” said the president.
It is now more important than ever to follow the measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, he said, adding that fighting and overcoming COVID-19 is a continuation of the work of liberation.
As part of the celebrations, the Rwandan Ministry of Defence later in the day inaugurated a model settlement constructed in Kinigi village in northern Rwanda to accommodate 144 families.
As of Saturday evening, Rwanda registered 41,696 COVID-19 cases in total, including 27,606 recoveries and 465 deaths. So far 391,888 people have been vaccinated.