President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana will play her role to make the Pan-African Vaccine Manufacturing Project a success.
“As I said in Marburg, the Pan-African Vaccine Manufacturing Project fits perfectly with Ghana’s roadmap for domestic vaccine development and manufacturing. Ghana is ready to play her role, and I reaffirm, once again, her determination to make the Project work successfully.”
The President made the pledge at the groundbreaking ceremony for the commencement of construction of a vaccine manufacturing plant in Kigali, Rwanda, on Thursday.
He said the commencement of the construction “signals to the rest of the world the commencement of this end-to-end vaccine manufacturing facility, involving Rwanda, Senegal and my own country of Ghana.”
Rwandese President Paul Kagame invited President Akufo-Addo, who is in that country to attend the Commonwealth Summit, to participate in the groundbreaking event.
The COVID-19 pandemic which left Africa woefully short of vaccines, prompted its leaders seek partnerships with relevant global players to build capacity and capabilities of local manufacturers to facilitate the domestic manufacture of vaccines to enable the continent control its supply of vaccines.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that the import of the Pan-African Project means that Ghana, Senegal and Rwanda must work together, the reason why the relationship between the Food and Drugs Authorities (FDA) of Ghana and Rwanda is being deepened with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding on Friday, 24th June.
“Through this, FDA Ghana, which achieved WHO Global Benchmarking Maturity Level Three in 2020, and is working hard to achieve Maturity Level Four by the end of this year, will assist FDA Rwanda to attain WHO Maturity Level Three as soon as possible.
“Both agencies will collaborate further in vaccine drug product manufacturing, fill, finish and lot release in their respective countries.
“Again, collaboration between our two countries resulted recently in a team from Rwanda visiting research institutions in Ghana, with the aim of strengthening institutional development and partnership towards vaccine discovery and advancement,” he said.
The President revealed that Ghana’s research institutions are undergoing capacity-building to be ready for the discovery and development of vaccines and other biological.
He stated that a consortium of Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies, led by DEKS Vaccines Ltd., is working closely with BioNTech Rwanda, BioNTech Germany and kENUP to fill, finish and package the drug product in Ghana from the plant in Rwanda.
President Akufo-Addo thanked BioNTech of Germany, kENUP Foundation, IFC, EIB and the other financial institutions for working closely together with African countries to enable the continent achieve vaccine self-sufficiency.
“I assure all and sundry that Ghana is delighted to be part of this Pan-African Project to manufacture mRNA COVID, Malaria and TB vaccines from drug substance through drug product to fill, finish and package,” he said.