Africa started mulling vaccine manufacturing following apparent inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
On Friday 21st May 2021, Kagame attended the virtual Global Health Summit bringing together G20 leaders and executives from vaccine manufacturers among others.
At the time, Kagame has said that Rwanda’s was in advanced talks discussions with vaccine manufacturers to start local production.
“In the context of developing hubs for manufacturing the vaccines in our continent, Rwanda is in advanced talks with private firms and multilateral agencies to build manufacturing capacity in our region for the raw materials to produce mRNA vaccines,” he affirmed.
Kagame commended the European Union institutions for commitment to support the cause.
Towards the end of June 2021, the European Union and Rwanda signed Rwf3.6 billion agreement to promote the Rwandan tourism and health sectors.
This agreement is expected to strengthen the capacity of the Rwanda Food and Drug Authority (RFDA), which is key to enhancing the attractiveness of Rwanda for investments in the manufacturing of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals, thus helping to improve access to medicines.
Recently in August 2021, BioNTech selected Rwanda and Senegal for potential malaria and tuberculosis mRNA vaccine manufacturing.
The locations of the sites within each country, which have yet to be decided, will eventually co-locate with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) upcoming vaccine hubs, sites the organization has used against the coronavirus and influenza to transfer manufacturing know-how.
It is expected that the manufacturing plant will start production next year in Kigali Special Economic Zone.
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