Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Towards an East African pharmaceutical industry


Towards an East African pharmaceutical industry

Towards an East African pharmaceutical industry
Photo credit: MSF

Vaccine Production in Africa for Africa

Conference Resolutions from the East African Vaccine Symposium

  1. Recognizing the aspiration expressed by EAC Partner States to develop their pharmaceutical industry including vaccine manufacturing, as part of the regions’, social, economic and political integration agenda;

  2. Noting the strategic importance of developing local production of pharmaceutical products in promoting access to affordable quality vaccines as outlined in the EAC Regional Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan Of Action for the period 2017-2027;

  3. Motivated by the growing pharmaceutical spending in Africa at a compound annual growth rate of 10.6%, in particular, the growth in the East African Community (EAC) which has the highest pharmaceutical sales growth in Africa estimated at 12.4% in the next five years, and further spurred by a convergence of demographic changes, increasing wealth and healthcare investment, and challenges around increasing cases of chronic diseases.

  4. Cognizant of the utmost importance of strengthening regional and national coordination of industrial and health, policies to ensure a coherent policy environment, reliable government procurement, product quality assurance, and market certainty for local production and improving access to vaccines.

  5. Noting on the one hand that a huge amount of all vaccines supplied by GAVI and other partners go to Africa and that on the other hand a growing number of countries are on a trajectory to graduate out of GAVI support, a huge demand for regional vaccine production can be identified in Africa.

  6. Aware of the positive socio-economic impact that regional manufacturing of vaccines will have on the EAC economies in addition to their secured availability through reforms in the procurement strategy, and noting that effective implementation of procurement policy and practices would catalyse regional vaccine supply,

  7. Conscious of the crucial role played by regional businesses to realise the regional vaccine supply, and the prominent role occupied by transfer of technology as a means to promoting local production in developing countries and improving access to vaccines with the intent of enabling the technological or manufacturing capacity in the region;

  8. Reaffirming the necessity for states and private entities to work together to guarantee a regulatory framework in which businesses focusing on regional vaccine production can flourish;

  9. Eager to build upon the important momentum the present symposium has triggered a follow-up by all parties present shall be guaranteed whilst inviting others to join these efforts; and

  10. Acknowledging the aforementioned and guided by the utmost importance of vaccines in mitigating the social and economic impact caused by infectious diseases, the symposium participants drawn from the public and private sector, gathered on the 18th of April 2018 in Arusha, in order to discuss the opportunities and challenges of regional vaccine production in East Africa region, now resolve as follows:

  1. EAC to develop a harmonized regional policy and regulatory framework for local production of vaccines which will contribute to health security by ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential vaccines and further prevent greater disruptions in rural and poor areas.;

  2. EAC to promote the establishment of a regional bio-technology and vaccine manufacturing hub, to facilitate technology transfer, promote local production and improving access to vaccines with the intent of enabling the technological or manufacturing capacity of the region in a mutually beneficial manner, while promoting public health objectives.

  3. EAC to commit to enhance resources to improve Health system infrastructure and human resources with respect to vaccination (vaccine delivery infrastructure). This should be examined comprehensively to identify gaps and opportunities.

  4. EAC regulatory agencies to share regulatory knowledge and experience and harmonize approaches to inspection and control to greatest extent possible to mitigate health risks associated with large volumes of biological medicinal products crossing national borders,

  5. EAC to consider establishing a regional vaccine manufacturing facility either through public-private partnership or purely public agency to meet the regional demand for vaccine supplies within the framework of regional industries. In this regards, there is need for quick harmonization of the relevant national and regional procurement and distribution policies and Identify opportunities and incentives to promote local production and sourcing of vaccines and related materials.

  6. EAC in collaboration with East African Business Council; Federation of East African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers FEAPM to explore the scope for formation of advocacy platform and networks for Vaccine manufacturing comprising governmental organizations, researchers, private sector to provide forum to discuss challenges, opportunities and emerging issues including diseases and partnership;

  7. AS first step towards vaccine production in the region, EAC to give priority to pool procurement of vaccine as an opportunity to lower the prices for vaccine and ensure stable access and supply. Regional mechanisms with specific agreed term of references should be established to look at the procurement criteria and negotiation with manufacturers. A similar example from ECOWAS should be studied;

  8. EAC to put in place fiscal and non fiscal incentive frameworks that will promote local production of vaccines and drive investments in the pharmaceutical sector local production in general. In addition the EAC Partner States to put in place a conducive investment climate that will lower the cost of doing business and promote foreign direct investment that is market driven.

  9. EAC to collaborate with academia, East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), and other partners to promote best practices, science, technology and innovation to enhance competitiveness in local production of vaccines.


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