Producing COVID-19 vaccines in Africa came one step closer today after Team Europe formally agreed to support large-scale investment in vaccine production by the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, alongside other support measures. The new manufacturing plant should reduce Africa's 99% dependence on vaccine imports and strengthen future pandemic resilience on the continent.
The agreement is part of a major package of investment in vaccine and pharmaceuticals production in Africa launched by Team Europe in May, which brings together the European Commission, EU Member States, and the European Investment Bank, and other financial institutions, in line with the EU's Strategy with Africa and the strategy of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM).
Team Europe, together with other international partners, has committed to a significant package of support for the medium- to long-term sustainability of the project. This includes:
Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is supporting the manufacturing hub in Senegal with a €20 million grant through KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), the German development bank.
France, through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), has already granted two initial financing packages totalling €1.8 million to the MADIBA project (Manufacturing in Africa for Disease Immunization and Building Autonomy) at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar for feasibility studies and initial investments. The AFD Group and its private sector subsidiary, Proparco, are also working within the group of technical and financial partners to structure the project in order to reach financial support at a larger scale.
Belgium will support Senegal in structuring initiatives to produce vaccines and pharmaceuticals, such as the Pharmapolis pharma hub. Belgium also welcomes the fact that a Belgian biotech company in novel bio-manufacturing platforms is forging, with the support of Wallonia, a partnership with the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, as a key partner for building capacity and transferring technology.
The European Commission is discussing with the Senegalese authorities the possibility of mobilising further financial support by the end of 2021 under the new NDICI / Global Europe instrument to support this project. This is part of the €1 billion Team Europe initiative to boost the manufacturing of, and access to, vaccines, medicines and health technologies in Africa, which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in May 2021.
At a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, the President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellence Macky Sall, European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton and representatives of Germany, France, Belgium, the European Investment Bank and other development finance institutions, including the IFC, today confirmed details of Team Europe support to accelerate project preparation, expand manufacturing capacities and undertake technical feasibility work. These will be crucial to unlock large-scale investment in the new plant. This will be built over the next 18 months and will equip the African continent with a state-of-the-art facility for the production of authorised COVID-19 vaccines.
Today, Team Europe is providing €6.75 million in grant support to enable technical feasibility studies and project preparation for the new facility at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar. This amount includes €4.75 million from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, €200,000 from Germany, and €1.8 million from France. This will also enable the total investment cost and financial structures to be defined and agreed with Senegalese and international partners. Construction of the new plant is expected to start later this year, with 25 million vaccine doses being produced each month by the end of 2022.