Senegal and the European Commission are working together to build a vaccine manufacturing facility with the first focus on producing the Covid-19 vaccine for Africa.
While this is not new – Rwanda, Uganda , Ghana and Nigeria have announced their intention to establish production facilities for Covid-19 vaccines – the Dakar facility is the second to disclose actual funding plans for the company.
South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare Ltd, the largest pharmaceutical company the continent of the world, announced that production has started with $ 712 million in funding from the United States. Countries with the capacity to manufacture vaccines on the continent, including South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia, have spoken of intentions to start production of the crucial vaccine.
Construction of the new plant, which is expected to produce at least 25 million cans per month by the end of 2022 are due to start at the Pasteur Institute this year, according to the project’s financiers – several European development partners, the USA and the World Bank group. The European Commission, the European Investment Bank, France and Germany have committed € 6.75 million (US $ 8.01 million) in grants to support the construction of the facility.
The agreement is part of a extensive investment package in the production of vaccines and medicines in Africa was launched in May by Team Europe, which brings together the European Commission, the EU Member States and the European Investment Bank as well as other financial institutions in line with the EU Strategy for Africa and the Strategy for Africa Centers United for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and partnerships for African vaccine manufacturing.
Senegalese Economy Minister Amadou Hott said the project was part of a vision um lay the foundation for the pharmaceutical and medical sovereignty of the country and the continent.
“First funding and expertise from Team Euro pe and other partners will accelerate the construction of the new production facility and use the access to affo vaccines in Africa and enable a quick response to new pandemics “, he said the new instrument NDICI / Global Europe to support this project under the 1 billion euros ( 1.39 billion US dollars) from the Team Europe initiative to promote the manufacture of and access to vaccines, drugs and health technologies in Africa, which the President of the European Commission announced Ursula von der Leyen in May 2021.
The facility in Dakar aims to alleviate the suffering of Africa in times of vaccine shortages and at the same time reduce the heavy dependence on vaccine imports.
According to Gavi – the international vaccine alliance – the continent imports almost 99 percent of its routine vaccines today. Africa’s reliance on global compassion to deliver Covid-19 vaccines has left the continent in an awkward position with only 1.2 percent of the total 1.2 billion population fully vaccinated, while infection rates skyrocket in many countries on the continent.
As part of Team Europe, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is supporting the production site in Senegal with a € 20 million building autonomy project at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar for feasibility studies and initial investments.