Since 2021, vaccine production initiatives in Africa have mostly focused on financing and partnership building, leaving out the central question of market access for products made in African countries. Market access is crucial for local production of vaccines. First, competitive production in the vaccine sector depends on scale. The larger the company’s production volumes, the cheaper the price. But to achieve scale, local companies need market access. Second, market access is key for the survival of new entrants. It enables them to cover their working capital and helps with funds for reinvestment in the business for expansion. But the current procurement systems for vaccines in the region does not leave much room for African companies. Forty out of 54 countries on the continent rely on vaccines procured by Gavi, the global alliance that provides vaccines to eligible low and middle income countries.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION