Senegal to partner with European Commission in new factory deal

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Senegal and the European Commission have formed a cooperation to develop a vaccine manufacturing plant, with the Covid-19 vaccine being the first product.

While this is not a new development—Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, and Nigeria have all announced plans to build Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing plants—the Dakar facility is the second to provide concrete funding plans for the project.

Aspen Pharmacare Ltd, the continent’s largest drug firm, stated it had started manufacturing with $712 million in finance from the United States. South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia, among the countries with the capacity to manufacture vaccinations on the continent, have stated their plans to begin manufacturing of the critical vaccine.

According to the project’s financiers — numerous European development partners, the United States, and the World Bank Group — construction on the new facility, which is scheduled to generate at least 25 million doses per month by the end of 2022, will begin later this year at the Institut Pasteur.

The European Commission, European Investment Bank, France, and Germany have all pledged grants totaling 6.75 million euros ($8.01 million) to help fund the plant’s construction.

The agreement is part of a major investment package in vaccine and pharmaceuticals production in Africa announced by Team Europe in May, which includes the European Commission, EU Member States, the European Investment Bank, and other financial institutions, and is in line with the EU’s Africa Strategy and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (Africa CDC) strategy.

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