Now is the moment to launch an African vaccine industry

By Ngozi Erondu

The lack of an African vaccine industry has been a glaring concern for decades. Before the pandemic, 99 per cent of Africa’s vaccines were manufactured outside the continent. As well as endangering the lives of millions, this situation has inhibited social and economic progress on the continent.

In response, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has undertaken an ambitious plan, outlined in the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) Framework for Action, to develop the nascent African vaccine manufacturing sector into an end-to-end industry by 2040. The framework aims to raise the share of African-manufactured vaccines used across the continent to 60 per cent by 2040, or the equivalent to up to 1.7 billion doses annually.

Seven of every 10 vaccines used in Africa are currently donated through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Most are administered within childhood immunization programmes and are largely manufactured either in India, or by  multinational vaccine manufacturers in North America or Japan.

This op-Ed was originally posted on Chatham House on August 3, 2022.