In October 2023 at the Global Gateway Forum, held in Brussels, the EU Commission signed €500 million for global health and an additional €134 million to increase local manufacturing and equitable access to quality, safe, effective, and affordable health products in Africa. An agreement was signed by Africa CDC’s Director-General, Dr Jean Kaseya, and European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen to complement the Team Europe Initiative on Manufacturing and Access to Vaccines, Medicines, and Health Technologies (TEI MAV+) for Africa.
Learning from COVID-19
Africa currently imports 99% of the vaccines it requires. The consequences of this dependence on imported vaccines were highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, reflected that a “key” lesson from the pandemic was that “vaccine and medicines sovereignty is key to defeating global health threats”.
Therefore, the Commission is investing in programmes to empower the continent to strengthen local pharmaceutical manufacturing and improve access to health products.
Funding 6 national plans
6 African countries will receive funding within the €134 million package to support the “sustainable implementation” of their national plans:
- Egypt – €3 million
- Ghana – €32 million
- Nigeria – €18 million
- Rwanda – €40 million
- Senegal – €25 million
- South Africa – €16 million
Africa CDC reports that these efforts “align with the shared development objectives and geopolitical priorities” of the European Union and African Union. This was emphasised by Jutta Urpilainen’s statement that the EU is “committed to strengthening health systems and securing global chains around the world”. Dr Jean Kaseya confirmed that the agreement “solidifies our shared vision”
“This action-oriented partnership aims to advance the New Public Health order and expand local manufacturing in Africa.”