Rwanda partners with IFC to develop vaccine manufacturing capacity
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) announced on Friday that it had signed a collaboration agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to facilitate the development of vaccine manufacturing capacities in the country and help expand its production in Africa.
The development comes days after Rwanda announced its association with BioNTech, a leading biotechnology company, and the kENUP Foundation to explore building end-to-end manufacturing capacity for mRNA vaccines, arising from the company’s malaria and tuberculosis vaccine development programs on the continent.
In a statement released on Friday, RDB said IFC will help Rwanda conduct diagnostic and feasibility studies to ensure the right technical and policy frameworks needed to establish a world-class vaccine manufacturing supply chain in Rwanda. to produce vaccines for local use and export across Africa.
“Rwanda aims to produce high quality vaccines for the African market. A production facility like the one envisioned in this collaboration agreement advances this goal, ”said Zephanie Niyonkuru, Deputy Director General of RDB in the statement.
Samuel Dzotefe, IFC’s Acting Regional Industry Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services in the Middle East and Africa, observed that Africa must develop and maintain its own reliable supply of vaccines and its health industry.
“This partnership with the Rwanda Development Board is a vital step in helping Africa build its vaccine manufacturing capacities to respond to COVID-19 and future pandemics,” Dzotefe said.
Other potential vaccine and pharmaceutical production facilities, including a filling and finishing facility, are expected to be co-located with BioNTech in the Kigali Special Economic Zone, the statement said.
The African Union and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aim to locally produce around 60% of routine vaccines in Africa by 2040.