A €1 billion package for Africa
The European Investment Bank’s support for the new plant is part of a €1 billion package of investment in vaccines, medicines and health technology in Africa that was launched at the G20 Global Health Summit in Rome this May. The investment package is part of a comprehensive programme to increase the production and accessibility of health products and technologies in Africa.
To boost production, for example, the European Investment Bank and other development banks are working to reduce the financial risk of investment in local pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The Bank is also working with the European Commission to improve investment in Africa’s health sector by Europe’s national development banks.
Technology transfer and support for the creation of regional manufacturing hubs are another important feature of the programme. In addition to the project to develop COVID-19 vaccines in Senegal, the European Commission is discussing potential projects in South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Rwanda.
An investment in global heath security
Europe’s support in Africa is also about global health care and making sure all countries can deal with pandemics.
“It’s very important that we have this solidarity between African countries and European countries because it helps to build up a global ecosystem for global health security,” says Sall.
This pandemic has shown just how critically important it is to work together.
“What makes this project so important and strategic,” says the EIB’s Ynaraja, “is that, by developing the full production chain in Senegal, when the COVID pandemic is over there will already be a next-generation vaccine plant in place to use in the next pandemic.”