The partnership was launched by H.E Felix Tshisekedi, Chair of the African Union and President of the Democratic Republic of Congo to expand Africa’s vaccine manufacture for health security.
During the launch, strong political commitments were made to drive momentum for the African Union’s bold vision to manufacture about 60% of its vaccines on the continent by 2040, an initiative that will be led by Africa CDC.
Since commissioning, some countries have made impeccable progress in the mission. On the 10th of July 2021, Senegal, the European Union, the United States, several European governments, and partners, signed an accord to finance vaccine production at the Institut Pasteur of Dakar.
In the same spirit, on the 5th of July 2021, Morocco; under the chairmanship of H.M King Mohammed VI, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Swedish company Recipharm to establish and scale-up COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity in the country. Moroccan pharmaceutical producers also discussed different public-private partnerships and sub contraction opportunities for vaccine manufacturing.
South Africa has not been left behind either. On the 28th of June 2021, the country signed an agreement between Biovac, Afrigen Biologics & Vaccines, a network of universities, WHO, COVAX, and Africa CDC established the first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in Africa.
These engagements will definitely improve the positioning of the continent in pandemic management now and in the future. Africa has been highly disadvantaged in distribution and administration of Covid-19 vaccines.
Just over 1 percent of Africa’s roughly 1.3 billion people are fully inoculated, according to the WHO. And last month, amid a global supply crunch, shipments to the continent through the Covax initiative nearly ground to a halt.