African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a collaboration agreement with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to facilitate and support vaccine manufacturing in Africa, critical to supporting Africa’s fight against diseases, such as COVID-19.
Under the agreement signed in April, Afreximbank and AFC will identify and engage partners, and co-finance vaccine manufacturing projects in Africa. The two institutions will provide preparatory support to project developers and promoters whilst stepping up policy and advocacy efforts to unlock major market barriers.
These cross-cutting barriers include border clearance, road and freight logistics, cold-chain and warehousing on the continent and access to market. A key outcome will be establishing African self-reliance for the sustainable, secure supply of routine vaccines for the continent’s population, as well as improving the continent’s capacity to respond to epidemic outbreaks such as COVID-19.
Vaccine manufacturing in Africa has become a matter of utmost importance in ensuring that the continent has timely access to critical vaccines at a time where global manufacturers are compelled to prioritise their home markets as well as their commercial success where their pricing and delivery models favour richer countries.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said:“Afreximbank, Africa CDC, AFC and the African Union all share the same vision that vaccine manufacturing in Africa will significantly impact the continent positively by guaranteeing access to critical vaccines when they are most needed and provide a basis for Research and Development on the continent.
Africa is an importer of 95% of the vaccines it currently consumes. The ability to manufacture vaccines on the continent will contribute to conserving foreign exchange, creating employment and fostering the transfer of technology.”
The agreement was signed at a virtual conference on vaccine manufacturing where high-ranking individuals and organizations, including Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), endorsed the move.