President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced a consortium of Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies ready to package and distribute COVID-19 vaccines that will be produced by BioNTech in Africa.
The German manufacturing giant, BioNTech on Thursday, June 23, 2022, cut sod for the construction of a vaccine production plant in Kigali, Rwanda, which will have Ghana and Senegal playing the packaging and finishing roles.
Speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana has already set up a consortium for the project.
“A consortium of Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies led by DEX Vaccine Limited is working closely with BioNTech Rwanda, BioNTech Germany and BioNTech Denmark to package and finish the product in Ghana from the plant here in Rwanda”, he said.
Expressing his gratitude to President Paul Kagame for the invitation to participate in the event, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the commencement of 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.”
In his remarks, the President 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 (3) in 2020, and is working hard to achieve Maturity Level Four (4) by the end of this year, will assist FDA Rwanda to attain WHO Maturity Level Three (3) as soon as possible. Both agencies will collaborate further in vaccine drug product manufacturing, fill, finish and release in their respective countries,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “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”.
In addition, the President revealed that Ghana’s research institutions are undergoing capacity-building to be ready for the discovery and development of vaccines and other biologicals, stating 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 here in Rwanda.”
He 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.
“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.”