African leaders rush to ensure continent produces own Covid-19 vaccines
Leaders in Africa are now racing against time to ensure the continent manufactures its own pharmaceuticals to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed how Africa lacks capabilities and capacity to manufacture its own pharmaceutical products, including coronavirus vaccines.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently said his country will be hosting a technology transfer hub for coronavirus vaccines in the first step towards Africa producing its own vaccines in the future.
Like any crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic could represent an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a better future.
There are currently fewer than 10 African manufacturers that produce vaccines in Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
The construction of a plant to produce COVID-19 vaccines is expected to begin later this year in Senegal, and the facility should produce 25 million doses per month by the end of 2022, expanding vaccine access in West Africa.
The WHO is setting up a hub in South Africa to give companies from poor and middle-income countries the know-
The WHO has long been calling for rich countries to share vaccine technology. The initiative to help African countries produce vaccines is especially urgent at a time when cases and deaths on the continent have increased by almost 40% over the past few weeks.