President Nana Akufo-Addo says government aims at building a domestic Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing plant in the next two years.
According to him, the plant would serve the purpose of filling, finishing and packaging Covid-19 vaccines and other vaccines.
He added that this would help “to strengthen research and development for vaccine production.”
Speaking at a Covid-19 forum in Germany, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana is ready to help fight the pandemic on the African continent, hence the establishment of the local vaccine plant in Ghana.
This is expected to be the first step in the chain of domestic vaccine production, which will improve vaccine supply in Africa.
The goal of vaccine production comes in the wake of a collaboration between Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda and Germany Biotechnology Company, BioNTech SE, to fill, finish, and package BioNTech mRNA vaccines in Africa for the treatment of viruses as well as tuberculosis and malaria.
The agreement came after a meeting in Marburg, Germany, on Wednesday, where President Akufo-Addo, together with Presidents Macky Sall and Paul Kagame of the Republics of Senegal and Rwanda respectively, witnessed the presentation of a BioNtech modular production facility solution for the production of mRNA vaccines in Africa.
“I will on 16th February together with His Excellency, Monsieur Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and His Excellency Mr Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda inspect in Marburg Germany the production facilities that we need to employ to this end.
“And then to build a pan African project with these two sister African states where initially the fill and finish plant will be located in Ghana,” President Akufo-Addo said at the opening of the New Year School at the University of Ghana (UG).
Government also plans to invest $25 million as seed money towards the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead the country’s efforts at producing vaccines locally.
The Institute will also work on vaccine research and development in Ghana, as well as on developing a human resource base for vaccine discovery, development, and manufacturing.
The institute’s establishment is one of the recommendations made by a government-appointed committee charged with developing a concrete plan for vaccine development and manufacturing in Ghana.
The Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee has already indicated that Ghana would need $200 million to fully manufacture Covid-19 vaccines locally.