EU Invests €1 billion to Support Vaccine Manufacturing in Africa

EU Invests €1 billion to Support Vaccine Manufacturing in Africa
EU Invests €1 billion to Support Vaccine Manufacturing in Africa

Africa-Press – Cape verde. The European Union has pledged €1 billion saying it is to support ramping up vaccine manufacturing in Africa. Nine months ago, the idea of taking vaccine production to Africa was mooted in Paris, France.

Today, that simple but ground-breaking idea is seeing the light in the form of this state-of-the-art BioNTech container factory, like the one on display today. This year already, at least two of these container factories will move to Africa [Rwanda and to Senegal].

Close cooperation is ongoing with South Africa’s Biovac Institute. And with our partners in Ghana. We are advancing in record time. Commercial production is set to begin in 2023.

President von der Leyen at the ‘Vaccine Equity for Africa’ launch event, co-organised by BioNTech SE and the kENUP Foundation said in a statement that the initiative is first and foremost about vaccine equity.

Vaccines from the new factories will be sold at not-for-profit prices, exclusively to African countries. They will be made in Africa, for Africa, with world-class technology.

Similarly this initiative can advance public health and industry, well beyond the pandemic. “We know the mRNA technology is revolutionary. It holds promises for the fight against other diseases, like malaria and tuberculosis,” he said.

BioNTech factories can be adjusted within weeks to make different vaccines. It could thus be an African-made solution to diseases that currently kill millions.

The project is part of a larger ambition. By 2040, the African Union wants that 60% of the vaccines used on the continent are manufactured on the continent.

“The European Union fully supports that goal. Together with our Member States and financial institutions, we have committed over €1 billion in financing. To strengthen regulatory frameworks, and transfer skills and know-how. Because regional capacities are the cornerstone of global public health,” von der Leyen said.

He said the project goes even beyond public health. Building this technological capacity in Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa – countries that are regional leaders in innovation – will strengthen the innovation ecosystem on the entire continent.

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