RWANDA: What is behind the Berlin CwA summit

By Erasme Rugemintwaza

Kagame’s 3-day visit to Germany was undoubtedly successful. But what is behind this infatuation of Europe and Africa for Kagame? What are its repercussions?

On august 26, 2021 , THW Rwandan presidency posted on its tweeter account, a message according to which President Kagame had arrived in Berlin. He joined other Heads of States from various African countries in a G20Compact with Africa (CwA), organized under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on August 27, 2021. The CwA initiative was launched in 2017 by Germany to promote private investment in Africa.

At first glance, let us underline that the underpinnings of CwA are to increase the attractiveness of private investments by substantially improving macroeconomic, commercial and financial frameworks. CwA offers to willing African countries, the opportunity to improve the conditions for private investment, especially in the area of infrastructures. Note that twelve African countries have joined the initiative: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia. The CwA summit was an opportunity for Rwanda to demonstrate its talents in trade negotiations, as the country, Kagame always emphasizes it, is ruled like a commercial enterprise. This is more true because a landlocked country like Rwanda, without natural resources can only survive by its attractiveness of investments and, sometimes, by an “unauthorized supply” from the neighbour!

On CwA’s summit agenda, there was a very important point: the production of the vaccine against covid-19 in Africa, to alleviate the great problem of vaccine distribution in the countries of the South. The coronavirus pandemic, which is the price of neglect and flawed or non-existent health programs, has exposed the yawning gap between the rich and the poor. The West has swept away all the vaccines at the expense of poor countries who were hoping that the COVAX program is a good regulator in the distribution of vaccines. Vaccination nationalism has gained ground. We must then try to close, little by little, this gap which testifies to the immaturity of global solidarity.

In order to overcome this vaccine problem, we also need the relocation of production firms. This is how the CwA summit was an opportunity to discuss this urgent health challenge.

Rwanda and Senegal honoured

Everything was predestining the choice of Rwanda for the production of anti-Covid-19 vaccines and drugs, because Kigali already has a memorandum of understanding in this area signed on August 12, 2021. In Rwanda, “The Minister of health is in partnership with the Belgian Cooperation, trough Enabel to contribute to Rwanda’s goal of building a robust ecosystem in the biotech industry and to boost Rwanda’s readiness to manufacture vaccines and other pharmaceutical products”

To this predisposition of Kigali, there was also an unprecedented infatuation towards Kagame, even before the summit of CwA begins the works. Thus, the president of European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen posted on her account tweet the following message: “ Good meeting with President Paul Kagame. Rwanda will be one of the engines of Africa’s recovery. We discussed the large scope for stronger partnership between our businesses and communities”.

Thus the meeting on the sideliners of the CwA summit brought together the main players in this anti-covid-19 vaccine production project. The message of the presidency of Rwanda says: “President Kagame participated in a meeting with BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin convened by the kENUP Foundation. With President Macky Sall, President Urusula von der Leyen to agree on a way forward for the development of end-to-end vaccine production in Africa, starting with Rwanda and Senegal.

The European Investment Bank(EIB),joined this initiative and posted on its tweeter account: “Vaccines should be available for all. Today we join EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Presidents Macky Sall, Paul Kagame to support a new initiative by BioNTech Group to setup vaccine productions sites in Rwanda and Senegal”.

All these meetings, all these negotiations have bee closed by a joint communiqué which follows.

“BERLIN, GERMANY, August 27, 2021 

BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech” or “the Company”) agreed today to evaluate the establishment of sustainable vaccine manufacturing capabilities in Rwanda and Senegal to support vaccine supply for the Member States of the African Union. Following the invitation of the kENUP Foundation, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Macky Sall of Senegal, and President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission met Uğur Şahin, CEO and Co-Founder of BioNTech in Berlin to discuss the development of sustainable vaccine production for Africa. The meeting resulted in a joint communiqué affirming BioNTech’s intention to manufacture mRNA vaccines arising from its Malaria and Tuberculosis vaccine development programs on the African continent.

‘We would like to thank all participants for today’s discussion and for the support and trust they put in us. Our goal is to develop vaccines in Africa and set-up sustainable vaccine production capabilities to jointly improve medical care,’ said Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. ‘We are committed to investing in cutting-edge research and innovation to support vaccine development in addition to the establishment of manufacturing facilities and build-up of manufacturing expertise on the African continent.’

BioNTech has already started the evaluation of manufacturing capabilities, following the Company’s announcement of its aim to develop a well-tolerated and highly effective Malaria vaccine and to implement sustainable end-to-end vaccine supply solutions on the African continent. The decision to evaluate manufacturing solutions in Rwanda and Senegal follows the guidance of the African Union, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the African Medical Agency under formation. The prospective locations of the necessary manufacturing sites are expected to co-locate with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) upcoming Vaccine Hubs. These efforts will be aligned with the Team Europe Initiative on manufacturing and access to vaccines, medicines and medical technologies (MAV+) led by the European Commission in collaboration with the EU Member States.

Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Africa Regional Director, and Dr. Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), also participated in the meeting, which took place at the margins of the G20 Compact with Africa Summit. The WHO, the European Commission and other organizations have previously been involved in the early planning phase of BioNTech’s Malaria project and have offered their support to identify and set up the necessary infrastructure.”

Thus the entire political and financial world, public and private elect Rwanda and Senegal to try to create the North-South balance.

Before leaving Berlin, President Paul Kagame thanked Chancellor Angela Merkel in these terms: “Thanks to Chancellor Merkel for the warm hospitality and commitment to G20CwA. We had fruitful discussions on investment opportunities and strengthening our partnership through tangible results and transformation. ”

But where does this infatuation come from for Paul Kagame, the man whose career, both military and political, is marked by heinous crimes? How does Kagame, whom UN reports on the violation of human rights always point out, manages to make the whole West and Africa dance around him? Many analysts agree in fact that, Paul Kagame has built up around him a think-tank whose primary task is not to give strong political orientations, but rather to buy strong people by bribing them. The Sarkozy, Tony Blair have become like Kagame brand sandwich men! And if it is not by the money that Kagame has no problem to pay to recruit a powerful figure like Bill Clinton, Emmanuel Macron, it is by blackmail to reveal the complicity or the “overwhelming responsibility” in the crimes. Here we understand the importance of the plundering of the natural resources of the DRC: it is to constitute a financial empire in order to be able to pay all these puppets of men who surround him This is the art of lobbying, learned, certainly from his close friend Israel, because without lobbying Israel would not have seen the light of day, and without lobbying the RPF-Inkotanyi would never have set foot in Kigali. Because we have never seen, an inveterate criminal, a dictator enjoying such angelic charisma as Kagame! In this case of vaccine production in Kigali, Paul Kagame has managed to put in his pocket the world number one in the field of health, the Tigrayan Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He is Kagame’s man. The choice of Rwanda is nothing other than a game of mercantile schemes. Thus the CwA was an ultimate occasion than ever for Paul Kagame to stand upright and ipso facto a more unfortunate occasion than ever for the dissenting voices against him and especially for Rusesabagina, who all risk being sacrificed by the West. Obsessed with money or blackmailed by Kagame. Against Kagame’s money, only the Rwandan people can stand up and stop his wrongdoings. A word to the wise is enough!