By David Himbara
General Paul Kagame’s grand plan for producing and supplying Covid19 vaccines to Rwanda and Africa is in the news, again. This time, an NGO from Malta by the name of kENUP Foundation has jumped in, as Kagame’s latest partner to produce vaccines in Rwanda. The Rwandan strongman’s grand plan is decidedly a mixed bag of egotism and wild-eyed fantasy.
General Paul Kagame’s grand plan of turning Rwanda into an African bub for producing Covif19 vaccines keeps changing. His 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.”
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.