WHO Welomes African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator

On 12 December 2023, during a Board meeting of the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization (#GAVI) in Accra, Ghana, it was decided to establish the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator (#AVMA).

“The African Union has set a target for the continent to produce 60 per cent of the vaccines needed on the continent by 2040. The AWMA is a game-changer for the continent’s effort towards vaccinee self-reliance.”

AU Center fo Disease Control DG Jean Kaseya

The #AVMA consists of a financing instrument which will mobilize up to USD one billion in order to support efforts by African countries to build up vaccine manufacturing capacity and to address vaccine equity gaps. It is regretful to recall that Africa was far down on the list of recipients and far from a top priority when it came to vaccine distribution during the #COVID pandemic.

“The [COVID] pandemic highlighted beyond any doubt the critical importance of vaccination as a public health tool. This decision by the Board of GAVI will contribute significantly to saving lives and livelihoods.”

WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti

The WHO Regional Office for Africa also salutes another move by GAVI to set up a First Response Fund with USD 500 million to allow timely and effective public intervention in the event of the outbreak of a future pandemic.

On a related note, the World Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) allocated USD 12 billion to strengthen pandemic response. The European Investment Bank (EIB) earmarked EUR one billion towards vaccines, medicines and health in Africa. Not to be outdone, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has put together a USD 3 billion package to support Healthcare Infrastructure Development in Africa, including vaccine production.

Currently, only one per cent of vaccines used in Africa is made on the continent. The stated goal of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator is to support capacity building on the continent to sustainably produce at least 60% of its vaccine requirements by 2040. With a population of around one billion souls, it is estimated that Africa will need to ramp up its manufacturing capacity for over 800 million doses.