African Archbishops and faith leaders implore world leaders to “act with compassion” at Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit

African Archbishops and faith leaders implore world leaders to “act with compassion” at Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit

Release date: 12 May 2022

Dear World Governments,

During this period when our religions encourage us to reflect and look forward to a time of renewal, we urge world leaders to take immediate action to address the massive global inequity in access to Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatment. In the context of conflict, humanitarian emergencies and looming famines, we must remember that the people who are most affected by these crises are also still being affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

As we reflect, we are gladdened by the scientific achievements that enabled the creation of vaccines and therapeutics at a rapid scale. This must be viewed as a gift for the common good and not be controlled by powerful countries and corporations, much to the detriment of people in lower-income countries.

We are one global family, where our problems are tightly interconnected. However, we know the greatest impediment to people getting their vaccinations, tests and treatment is inequity. More than two years have passed since the start of the pandemic, and we have made little progress in ensuring people in low-income countries are fully vaccinated. This inequity has created an unjust reality where the Covid-19 death toll is four times higher in lower-income countries than in rich ones.

The global pandemic is far from over. More than 6,000 people are dying from Covid-19 each day and cases are on the rise. We urge world leaders to act with compassion and ensure the world’s most vulnerable people have access to lifesaving Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatment. That requires properly financing the global response, sharing the technology and know-how needed to produce them, and removing barriers to production like intellectual property rules.

Only 20% of the population on the African continent have had their first vaccine, which is in stark contrast to many wealthy countries where over a third have received their third dose. We urge world leaders not to see this statistic as just a number, but as a reminder that each statistic represents a human being. A human being who deserves dignity and the ability to thrive in a post-pandemic world.

World leaders must renew their approach to tackling the response to the global pandemic by treating Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatment not as commodities but as public goods, which all people have the right to access. We encourage world leaders to unite and stand in solidarity with people from low-income countries by supporting a People’s Vaccine.


Yaaseen Abass
Moulana, Independent researcher

Sheikh Muhammad Amir Kpakpo Addo
Ghana Conference of Religions for Peace

Thapelo Amad
Maulana, Islamic

Rév Kinyamba Lunge Armand
Secretary-General CNRP RDC

Most Rev. Gabriel Anyoke
Catholic Archbishop of Kumasi (Ghana) and President of CARITAS AFRICA

Sheikh Abdulla Awaldien
Hidayatul islam mosque/madrassa

Father Benedict Ayodi
Capuchin Franciscan Friars

Msgr. José Lampra Cá
Bishop of of the Diocese of Bissau and President of Caritas Guinea-Bissau

Most Reverend Charles A. M. Campbell
Diocesan Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Bo, Sierra Leone

Mogamat hassiem Cassiem
Moulana, Siddique Islamic center

Most Rev. Edward Tamba Charles
Metropolitan Archbishop of Freetown,
Catholic Archdiocese of Freetown, Sierra Leone

Emmanuel Yona Chikoya
Rev. Canon, Council of Churches in

Bishop Willem Christiaans OSFS
Catholic Bishop of Keetmanshoop
Diocese, Namibia

Rev. Wilfred Dimingu
Zimbabwe Inter Religious Council

Farid Esack
Mawlana Professor, University of

Aslam Fataar
Professor, Stellenbosch University

Rev. Dr. Billy Gama
General Secretary, CCAP Blantyre Synod

Imaam Abdul Wahab Hamdulay
Owwal Masjid, Belhar

Bishop Joe Luis Ponce de Leon IMC
Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini and President of Caritas

Sister Maria de Lurdes Lodi Rissini
Missionary Sisters of St Charles

Imam Maghdie Sadien
Muslim Judicial Council

Bishop D Jensen Seyenkulo
Bishop, Lutheran Church in Liberia

Shaykh Shouket
The Institute of Islanic Studies

Rev. Peter L. Tibi
Church Peace Envoy, RECONCILE International

Shaikh Mukhtar Ahmed
Madina Institute

Sheikh Abduragmaan Alexander
Masjidul Quds, Gatesville Mosque

Zakariyya Harnekar
Ml, Dar al-Uloom al-Arabiyyah alIslamiyyah (DUAI)

Shaykh Islaam
Driftsand Islamic Dawah organisation

Shaykh Bilal Ismail
Imam Development Program

Shaykh Sa’dullah Khan
CEO, Islamia College

Joseph William Kofi deGraft-Johnson
General Secretary, Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa

Bishop Daniel Adwok Marko Kur
Auxiliary Bishop of Khartoum

Mgr Laurent Lompo
Archbishop of Niamey, Niger

Bishop Gabriel Mendy
Catholic Diocese of Banjul, The Gambia

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba
Archbishop of Cape Town, Anglican

Ebrahim Moosa
Professor, University of Notre Dame

Rev. Luckwell Mtima
Zambezi Evangelical Church

Imam Mthokozisi

Rev. Dr. Fidon Mwombeki
General Secretary, All Africa Conference of Churches

Bashir Nuckchady
Secretary, Council of Religions

Archbishop Frank Nubuasah
Archbishop of Gaborone, Botswana

Imam Dr. A. Rashied Omar
Claremont Main Road Masjid

Mgr Ambroise Ouedraogo
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Maradi, Niger

Bishop Natale Paganelli
Diocese of Makeni, Sierra Leone