HEALTH

Republic of Senegal and Team Europe support agree to build a manufacturing plant to produce vaccines against COVID-19 and other endemic diseases

President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellency Macky Sall, welcomes the support of Team Europe and other partners, including the United States and the  World Bank Group, in the construction in Senegal of a facility for manufacturing vaccines against COVID-19 and other endemic diseases; President of the Republic of Senegal, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, European Investment Bank (www.EIB.org) Director and United States sign grant agreements to set up large-scale vaccine production project; Part of the Team Europe Initiative on Manufacturing and Access to Vaccines, Medicines and Health Technologies in Africa, set to reduce Africa’s dependence on 99% imported vaccines and bolster production in Africa; Project will significantly increase Africa’s medical and vaccine production capacity and reduce its dependence on imports, which account for 99% of its vaccine needs; Institut Pasteur de Dakar to host regional manufacturing hub; Government of Senegal and international financing partners to support scheme.

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 International Finance Corporation (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.

Announcing today’s contracts, Amadou Hott, Senegal’s Minister of the Economy said: “To strengthen the fight against pandemics in Africa, the Government of Senegal is committed to enabling COVID-19 vaccine production at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar. This project is part of the vision of His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, to lay the foundations for the country’s – and the continent’s – pharmaceutical and medical sovereignty. It is strongly supported by my colleagues in charge of finance and health who see it as another means with which to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic more effectively. Initial funding and expertise from Team Europe and other partners, such as the United States, the World Bank Group, and regional donors, will accelerate construction of the new production plant, increase access to affordable vaccines in Africa, and enable vaccine production to rapidly respond to new pandemics.”

“Africa currently imports 99% of its vaccines. But with today’s agreement, Team Europe is helping Senegal move one important step closer to producing its own vaccines and protecting Africans from COVID-19 and other diseases. And more will come. This is just the first part of a much broader Team Europe initiative to support the production of medicines and vaccines across Africa,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“Scaling up local production of COVID-19 vaccines is crucial to tackle the pandemic. As part of Team Europe, the European Investment Bank welcomes today

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