Senegal plans to build coronavirus vaccine plant to help meet African demand

The government of Senegal will build a factory for the production of COVID-19 vaccines that will help meet demand for the vaccinations in Africa with the help of an international coalition of partners, the European Commission announced.

The construction of the facility, which will be hosted by the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, is expected to start this year, with an objective of 25 million doses produced monthly by the end of 2022.

The factory will be built with technical and financial help of the EU and the European Investment Bank as well as the U.S. and the World Bank.

In a statement, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement will help African countries reduce their dependence on external partners. At the moment, the continent imports 99 percent of its vaccine doses.

She also promised that “more will come” and that this was just the start of a “much broader” program of support for African vaccine and medicine manufacturing.

“Team Europe,” which includes the Commission, member countries, the EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, is providing €6.75 million in financing for technical studies and project planning. Germany is also providing €20 million to support the regional manufacturing hub.

The aid comes as part of the Commission’s €1 billion push to help improve vaccine and medicine manufacturing and access in Africa.

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