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Summit on vaccination : 1 billion USD for Africa

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Summit on vaccination : 1 billion USD for Africa

The health sovereignty of Africa was a major topic at the Global Vaccination Forum. To achieve this, an innovative financial mechanism was launched to accelerate the continent’s vaccine industry.

International vaccination forum : Summary

The Global Forum for Vaccine Sovereignty and Innovation, held on June 20 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, saw significant decisions made in favor of Africa. Co-organized by the French government, the African Union (AU), and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, this event marks a crucial step in the development of an African vaccine market.

The summit brought together several African heads of state, including those from Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda, and Botswana, as well as twenty health ministers from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) and representatives from research institutes and banks were also present.

Many multinational vaccine companies active in Africa participated in the Forum, including Aspen and Biovac from South Africa, Eubiologics from South Korea, the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, and the French company Sanofi.

African vaccine initiatives

Discussions focused on African vaccine initiatives, including two new malaria vaccines deployed since 2023. The cholera crisis, spreading in the East of the continent due to a lack of sanitary infrastructure and massive population movements, was also on the agenda.

The issues extend beyond Africa; with climate change, epidemics are making their way back North, raising global health security concerns. Additionally, the United Nations highlighted the urgent global shortage of cholera vaccines, with specific announcements expected soon.

Resource mobilization campaign

The summit also marked the launch of GAVI’s resource mobilization campaign to support its 2026-2030 program. This international organization is the main alliance supporting the purchase of quality, affordable vaccines for low-income countries. Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao, Managing Director of Resource Mobilization, emphasized the global financial and health challenges.

According to GAVI Director Sania Nishtar, this vaccination program requires funding of 9 billion USD. The goal is to vaccinate an additional billion children by 2030, introducing new vaccines and expanding the coverage of routine vaccines. Malaria control is on the agenda, and funding for cholera vaccines will be prioritized.

Establishment of the African medicines agency

The ambitions of the African Union’s Medicines Agency, established in 2022 with its future headquarters in Kigali, were central to discussions with Rwandan President Paul Kagame. This body, crucial according to Jean Kaseya of the Africa CDC, aims to ensure Africans’ access to quality medicines.

This is an essential step in the global fight against antibiotic resistance, a problem that transcends the continent’s borders. The consumption of non-prescription drugs or lower-quality products results in the death of over a million Africans annually. This issue causes more deaths than HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis combined, becoming the leading epidemic affecting Africans.

Emergence of a Southern vaccine market

The Forum saw the launch of a financial mechanism aimed at improving vaccine production capacity in Africa. This innovative mechanism, called the « African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator » (AVMA), will support African countries in achieving vaccine autonomy. The President of the AU Commission hopes to produce 60 % of the necessary doses by 2040.

Moussa Faki Mahamat stated that the continent shows a strong dependency on foreign manufacturers. Africa imports over 98 % of the vaccines used during the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is highly risky. In case of a pandemic, suppliers will prioritize their own country’s needs. For example, millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines ordered from the Serum Institute of India were suspended to serve the Indian population first.

AVMA : Catalyst for pharmaceutical growth

The AVMA could boost Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacities and diversify regional vaccine production. Implemented over a decade, this mechanism promotes cooperation among member states. The government aims to raise 1.2 billion USD, or approximately 1.12 billion EUR. Announcements from donor countries have reached 935 million EUR or more than 1 billion USD. The funding distribution is as follows :

  • About three-quarters of the amount comes from the European Commission.
  • 318 million USD is contributed by Germany.
  • 100 million USD by France.
  • 60 million USD by the United Kingdom.

Other donors like the United States, Canada, Norway, Japan, and the Bill Gates Foundation have shown growing interestin this financial mechanism. Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao also suggested that regions like Asia and Latin America could draw inspiration from the AVMA program.

African health sovereignty agenda

President Emmanuel Macron met with his counterparts from Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, and Botswana to review the African health sovereignty agenda. Additionally, Europe expressed its support for creating an African medicines agency,modeled after the European Medicines Agency. The French President also met with Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the AU Commission, to discuss crises in Sudan and the Great Lakes region.

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