The African Union (AU) Commission on Thursday received China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines here in the Ethiopian capital.
The vaccines, donated by the Chinese government, will mainly cover envoys of the AU Commission and African countries in Addis Ababa, said Chen Xufeng, charge d'affaires of the Chinese mission to the AU, at a handover ceremony.
"We hope it will help the AU Commission and African diplomats in Addis Ababa to fight the virus and support the AU to better proceed with its work," he said while the Chinese mission was delivering the doses in the bloc's headquarters, with the presence of senior AU Commission officials.
Chen stressed that since the COVID-19 outbreak, China and Africa have consolidated mutual trust through overcoming difficulties together, during which China provided the continent with much-needed supplies and tens of millions of vaccine doses.
"China has always prioritized African countries in vaccine supply," Chen said, adding that China has so far provided vaccine to 47 African countries and the bloc.
For his part, Bankole Adeoye, AU commissioner for political affairs, peace and security, praised the Chinese government for the timely donation.
"What is important now is how we work together as a globe, as an international community and defeat this pandemic," Adeoye said.
Africa is racing toward a minimum target of vaccinating 60 percent of its population across the continent, or about 750 million people, by 2022.
By Thursday evening, Africa has confirmed 7,627,954 COVID-19 cases, with 191,982 deaths and 6,747,290 recoveries, said Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.