Afreximbank, Africa CDC pledge US$2 billion to support African medical products manufacturing

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This aerial photo shows the headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sept. 10, 2023. Located in the southern suburbs of Addis Ababa, the China-aided headquarters of the Africa CDC was officially inaugurated in January 2023. The Chinese technical service team was established in June this year and will provide three-year technical services and two-year maintenance simultaneously. (Xinhua/Wang Guansen)
This aerial photo shows the headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sept. 10, 2023. Located in the southern suburbs of Addis Ababa, the China-aided headquarters of the Africa CDC was officially inaugurated in January 2023. The Chinese technical service team was established in June this year and will provide three-year technical services and two-year maintenance simultaneously. (Xinhua/Wang Guansen)

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Africa Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have announced a new 2-billion-U.S. dollars cooperation agreement to support health and pharmaceutical products manufacturing in Africa.

As part of the new collaboration, Afreximbank has committed a 2-billion U.S. dollars facility to the Africa Health Security Investment Plan to support the health product manufacturing ambition of the continent, the Africa CDC said in a statement issued late Thursday.

Although African pharmaceutical companies are facing severe impacts of the global health, security and economic challenges, the Africa CDC said they are the drivers of investments and technology advancements that the health sector needs.

Low investor confidence, lack of appropriate infrastructure, trade related barriers, and regulatory challenges are some of the constraints to investment in Africa’s health sector. While funds might be available, many potential investments do not materialize due to financial and non-financial obstacles, according to the Africa CDC.

It said coordinated efforts at the continental level are essential to reverse this trend and align with the Africa CDC’s aspiration for a new public health order.

According to the Africa CDC, closing the investment gap will be crucial to achieving the African Union’s ambition of manufacturing 60 percent of vaccines needed locally by the year 2040 as well as implementing all other countermeasures necessary to ensure self-reliance especially during crises such as pandemics and outbreaks.

“Today is a big day for African vaccine manufacturing as well as health products manufacturing in general, as we welcome these major investment announcements that will change the face of health products manufacturing in Africa for years to come,” the statement quoted Jean Kaseya, director general of Africa CDC, as saying.

The Africa Health Security Investment Plan aims to tackle Africa’s health investment challenges, promote economic growth, and enhance health security across the continent. It enables the Afreximbank to finance crucial health projects identified by Africa CDC, leveraging a combination of institutional and financial resources.

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