President Paul Kagame has hailed the newly launched modular vaccine production container prototype as a major breakthrough that will help developing countries to advance in vaccine manufacturing.
The Head of State made the observation on Wednesday in Marburg, Germany, at the high-level BioNTech Vaccine Equity for Africa meeting, alongside BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin, President Macky Sall of Senegal and President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana.
The meeting saw the unveiling of th BioNTech Group’s modular container prototype, known as BioNTainers, which will be used to manufacture vaccines in Africa, including in Rwanda later this year. President Kagame hailed the technology as a major milestone.
“The modular production system is a major technological breakthrough, as we have just witnessed ourselves. It puts advanced vaccine manufacturing within the reach of countries, where, only last year, many considered this impossible,”
“Vaccine equity is not about what happened in the past. It is about the future. There could be another pandemic. But we will be faster and better prepared next time, because of this strong partnership between BioNTech Group and Africa,” President Kagame said.
President Kagame said that the choice to deploy the solution first in Africa is a strong signal that a system designed to succeed on the continent can help speed up the pace of innovation for everyone.
“A commitment of this scale from a major pharmaceutical company is something we have never seen in Africa and we recognize its significance. Rwanda is firmly committed to this partnership and we will do our part to ensure its success and sustainability,”
“None of us can do it alone. We are working together with Ghana and Senegal and African Union, especially the medicines regulatory efforts spearheaded by Africa CDC and NEPAD, leading to the African Medicines Agency,” President Kagame said.
The factory prototype will be instrumental in helping the German manufacturer deliver on a pledge made last year to build plans in Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal and the African Union to secure mRNA vaccine production on the continent. Currently the African continent remains behind in vaccine distribution and innoculations.