The Presidents of Ruanda and Senegal, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EIB President Werner Hoyer met BioNTech-Founder Uğur Şahin to discuss the development of vaccine production for Africa; BioNTech affirmed its intention to manufacture any vaccines arising from its development of vaccine candidates to fight malaria and tuberculosis on the African continent.
Today, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission and EIB President Werner Hoyer met Uğur Şahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, at the Barenboim-Said-Akademie in Berlin to discuss the development of sustainable vaccine production for Africa.
The meeting, which was convened by the kENUP Foundation on behalf of BioNTech, took place on the margins of the G20 Compact with Africa Summit hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Also in attendance were Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Africa Regional Director, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The meeting resulted in a joint communiqué affirming BioNTech’s intention to manufacture any vaccines arising from the development of its malaria and tuberculosis vaccine candidates in Africa. The company has started evaluating manufacturing options in Rwanda and Senegal following the guidance of the African Union. These options will be co-located with the WHO’s upcoming vaccine hubs. In the interim, it should be possible to develop BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in local facilities for distribution in Africa. Other vaccine and pharmaceutical production facilities may also be established in these hubs to ensure a sustainable commercial and scientific ecosystem.