By David Himbara
Kagame has found a new foreign aid donor – the United Arab Emirates is supplying Rwanda with emergency medical aid comprising of testing kits, ventilators, and COVID-19 vaccines
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced that it sent Rwanda nine tons of emergency medical aid. This is the third time UAE has given emergency medical aid to Rwanda since June 2020. Meanwhile, Kagame continues to publicize his grand plan to turn Rwanda into an African hub for producing Covid19 vaccines. Rwanda now claims it will start to produce vaccines in 2022.
According to the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, a plane delivered to Rwanda on July 24, 2021, nine tonnes of emergency medical aid comprising testing kits, ventilators, and COVID-19 vaccines. This is the third time Rwanda has received this form of foreign aid from the The United Arab Emirates. In June 2020, the UAE sent to Rwanda four tonnes of emergency medical aid. In February 2021, the UAE sent to Rwanda 7.8 tonnes of emergency medical aid.
Meanwhile, the Kagame government announced on July 29, 2021, that Rwanda will manufacture Covid19 vaccines and other pharmaceuticals “as soon as next year.” The lastest supporter of Kagame’s grand plan to manufacture Covid19 vaccines is the kENUP Foundation. Based in Malta, the kENUP Foundation describes itself as “a non-profit public benefit foundation supporting research-based innovation in the wider health industries for societal benefit.” The kENUP Foundation was in Rwanda on July 29, 2021 supposedly to tour facilities in Kigali “in a step that brings Rwanda closer to local production of vaccines and other biologics.”
Kagame’s Covid19 vaccine-manufacturing boasts keep changing. Back on June 21, 2021, Kagame announced that he was seeking capital via Eurobond debt to build a vaccine-manufacturing plant in Kigali. This is what the General said: “Rwanda has been having a very good B+ credit rating. The Eurobond is one good option that will provide us with the resources we are looking for.”
Then, on June 30, 2021, his government announced that it had secured commitment from the European Union to support Rwanda’s ambitious road to vaccine manufacturing. The government signed a Rwf3.6billion or US$3.5 million agreement towards the effort. How such a tiny amount of money would assist in building a vaccine plant remains a mystery. By comparison, South Africa raised €600 million in long-term financing to build a Covid19 vaccine plant. Stay tuned.