Rwanda gets $3.6m from EU to upgrade labs for Covid-19 jab production

Posted on : Wednesday , 7th July 2021

Rwanda has inked a collaboration agreement with the European Union for Rwf3.6 billion ($3.6 million) to help enhance the country's laboratory capacity in order to attract companies to produce Covid-19 vaccines.


The monies will be used to improve the Food and Drugs Administration's quality control for medicinal items, allowing the regulator to get World Health Organization certification (WHO).


Rwanda Development Board Chief Executive Officer Clare Akamanzi said, "the agreement we signed is a step toward modernising and strengthening Rwanda's Food and Drugs Authority. The money we'll get from the EU will help us buy laboratory equipment so we can turn it into a modern facility that will allow Rwanda to acquire a WHO accreditation."


"The WHO accreditation required for this will help increase the trust of investors interested in producing vaccines. They (investors) will be able to put their faith in the regulatory capability that this financing will help to build."


Rwanda is to begin producing coronavirus vaccines utilising mRNA technology in the coming months, after securing international funding to create local capability.


Rwandan President Paul Kagame said at the Qatar Economic Forum that talks with partners to produce vaccines in Rwanda had progressed and that the process will begin "in a few months." He was speaking just after Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa were named as possible hosts for Africa's regional Covid-19 vaccine production centres.


"We have worked with certain businesses that specialise in mRNA technology for Rwanda in particular. So, we've already discussed that technology with individuals who would assist with finance, and I believe we'll hear a different narrative in a few months," said President Kagame.


Africa must become an equal partner with the rest of the globe and produce vaccines as the continent continues to face a supply shortage, President Kagame added.

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