EAST AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) and its partners under the Africa Investment Forum are considering the establishment of a US$45 million vaccine plant in East Africa.

While the location of the World Health Organization-prequalified vaccine production plant is not yet known, the facility will be capable of routine production of three vaccines, including for COVID-19.

This will be part of a US$140 million investment being considered by the forum to boost vaccines and healthcare in West and East Africa.

During the virtual roundtable event held on October 21, 2021, and which was hosted by the Atlantic Council to drum up interest in the Forum’s upcoming Market Days, where a range of investment opportunities will be unveiled, invited participants represented the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

The first part of the investment which has been considered is the US$96 million for the development of a 250-bed specialist hospital offering world-class healthcare services in a West African country.

According to AfDB, feasibility studies have been undertaken and the land has been secured for the hospital.

At a panel discussion organized by the University of Edinburgh a weak earlier, Africa Investment Forum Senior Director Chinelo Anohu referenced the East Africa vaccine plant project in the context of Africa’s current limited access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Through trade and investment, particularly in its pharmaceutical sector, the continent can avoid vaccine inequity, Anohu said.

“What we’re looking to provide with the Africa Investment Forum is a co-investment platform where you mobilize domestic investors, mobilize project sponsors for the continent, and then mobilize international investors, those who are looking to make an investment and get a profit,” Anohu said.

Speakers at the roundtable it was noted that health tourism had suffered as a result of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

There were also calls for increased partnerships with pharmaceuticals in order to overcome constraints such as research & development and reduce Africa’s disease burden.

The Africa Investment Forum aims to channel investment into Africa.

Its 2021 Market Days slated for December will showcase transformative investment opportunities from across the African continent, many with the potential to drive Africa’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Africa Investment Forum was launched in 2018 by eight founding partners: The African Development Bank, Africa 50; the Africa Finance Corporation; the African Export-Import Bank; the Development Bank of Southern Africa; the Trade and Development Bank; the European Investment Bank; and the Islamic Development Bank.

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