Africa Strives for 60% Vaccine Production by 2040

Africa Strives for 60% Vaccine Production by 2040
vaccine

By Eric Wakabi

The Ministry of Health has issued a warning to industry players, urging them to overcome internal disputes hindering coordination.

Africa currently operates at a mere 1% vaccine production capacity, with an ambitious target of reaching 60% by 2040.

Local investors in the pharmaceutical sector, however, are pointing fingers at the government, accusing it of favouring foreign investors and impeding their progress.

Many assert that government policies lean towards facilitating foreign investment, resulting in profits being repatriated overseas.

Senior pharmacist Harriet Akello from the Ministry of Health sheds light on the situation, attributing the flourishing foreign investment environment to internal challenges among local actors.

Harriet Akello, Senior Pharmacist, Ministry of Health stated

"The coordination within the pharmaceutical industry is crucial for achieving our vaccine production goals. Internal disputes only hinder our progress and create an unfavourable environment for both local and foreign investors."

Denis Kibira, Coordinator of the Medicine Transparency Alliance, emphasizes the necessity of sparking local discussions on viable markets for pharmaceutical products amidst Africa's 2040 goal.

Denis Kibira, Coordinator, of Medicine Transparency Alliance, stated

"As we aim for increased medicine production by 2040, it's imperative to engage in local conversations that foster a supportive ecosystem for pharmaceutical products."

Local pharmaceutical actors and start-ups echo concerns over alleged government frustrations, including the confiscation of containers at border points.

John Kamili, CEO of Piston Medical Ltd, expresses frustration:

"Government agencies confiscating our containers at border points only exacerbate the challenges we face. We need a conducive environment to thrive and contribute to Africa's pharmaceutical self-sufficiency."

With 17 years remaining until the 2040 target, Africa grapples with a stark contrast: a current vaccine production capacity of 1%, with Uganda at 0%.

The journey towards 60% is riddled with challenges, necessitating a harmonious effort from both local and foreign stakeholders to turn the ambitious goal into a reality.

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