The First Manufacturers Marketplace for Vaccine Manufacturing African Union Member States was a landmark event held in Marrakech, Morocco, on October 1, 2023. The gathering brought together vaccine manufacturers, policymakers, and stakeholders from across Africa to discuss opportunities for collaboration and partnership in boosting vaccine production on the continent.
Organized by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the marketplace aimed to address the critical need for increased vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa. Currently, Africa produces less than 1% of the vaccines it consumes, relying heavily on imports that are often costly and unreliable.
The plenary session brought together high-level representatives from governments, international organizations, and the private sector to discuss the importance of vaccine manufacturing in Africa and the role of the marketplace in fostering collaboration and investment in this critical area.
Key themes of the plenary session included:
- The urgent need to increase vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa: Africa currently produces less than 1% of the vaccines it consumes, leading to reliance on often costly and unreliable imports. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the vulnerability of this situation.
- The potential of Africa to become a vaccine manufacturing hub: Africa has a strong scientific and technical base, as well as a growing pharmaceutical industry, making it well-positioned to increase vaccine production.
- The role of collaboration and partnership in driving progress: The marketplace emphasized the importance of collaboration among African countries, international organizations, and the private sector to share knowledge, resources, and expertise.
Key outcomes of the plenary session:
- Renewed commitment to vaccine manufacturing in Africa: Participants reaffirmed their commitment to increasing vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa and recognized the marketplace as a valuable platform for collaboration.
- Emphasis on technology transfer and financing: The session highlighted the need for increased access to technology transfer and financing mechanisms to support vaccine manufacturing development in Africa.
- Call for action to accelerate progress: Participants urged stakeholders to translate commitments into concrete actions to accelerate progress towards vaccine manufacturing self-sufficiency in Africa.
The plenary session set the stage for the marketplace’s breakout sessions and networking opportunities, where participants delved into specific topics and explored potential partnerships. The overall message of the plenary session was clear: Africa must seize the opportunity to become a vaccine manufacturing hub, and the First Manufacturers Marketplace for Vaccine Manufacturing is a crucial step in this journey.
The marketplace served as a platform for African vaccine manufacturers to showcase their capabilities, share best practices, and explore potential partnerships with international organizations and private sector entities. Participants also discussed strategies for technology transfer, financing mechanisms, and regulatory harmonization to accelerate vaccine manufacturing development in Africa.
Key outcomes of the marketplace include:
- Elevated awareness: The event raised awareness of the existing vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa and the potential for further expansion.
- Collaboration opportunities: Participants identified potential areas for collaboration among African vaccine manufacturers, including technology sharing, joint production ventures, and supply chain optimization.
- Investment roadmap: The marketplace discussions paved the way for developing a roadmap to increase investment in vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa.
The First Manufacturers Marketplace for Vaccine Manufacturing marked a significant step forward in Africa’s journey towards self-sufficiency in vaccine production. By fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and attracting investment, the event has laid the groundwork for a more resilient and sustainable vaccine supply chain for the continent.