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Africa CDC and EU Join Efforts to Improve Equitable Access to Health Products and Local Manufacturing for Africa

27 October 2023

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the European Union Commission signed an agreement to support access to health products and local manufacturing in Africa as part of the Team Europe Initiative on Manufacturing and Access to Vaccines, Medicines, and Health Technologies. The agreement was signed by H.E Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director-General of Africa CDC, and Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, during the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels on October 25-26. This agreement complements the Team Europe Initiative on Manufacturing and Access to Vaccines, Medicines, and Health Technologies (TEI MAV+) for Africa.

The MAV+ initiative of Team Europe partners with African nations to strengthen local pharmaceutical manufacturing. It aims to improve access to quality health products, aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.8. The Global Gateway Forum brings together global leaders to promote infrastructure investment for Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, the European Union is contributing €134 million to support sustainable implementation of national plans in six African countries, fostering local manufacturing and equitable access to health products. These efforts align with the shared development objectives and geopolitical priorities of both the European Union and the African Union, complementing existing initiatives such as the African Union-European Union Innovation Agenda, the Africa CDC-PAVM Initiative, the EU Global Health Strategy, and Global Gateway.

Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, stated, “With its Global Health Strategy, the EU is committed to strengthening health systems and securing global chains around the world, while boosting our partners’ strategic autonomy, promoting universal health coverage, and preventing future health emergencies. These additional Global Gateway support measures will bring in more actors from the private sector and civil society. Notably, they provide targeted support to our African partners in building capacities of local production of pharmaceuticals and medical technology.”

The key objectives of this initiative encompass skills development through higher education and vocational training, promoting the sustainability of the private sector, fostering local ecosystems, supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs, ensuring quality assurance along national supply chains, facilitating research and development (R&D) for new or improved health products, promoting technology transfer with a focus on local organisations and shared African and European interests, strengthening regulatory processes at the country level in coordination with regional actions involving the European Medicines Agency (EMA), WHO, AUDA-NEPAD, and the African Medicines Agency (AMA), driving innovation and digitalisation to enhance access to medicines, and enhancing managerial skills, country leadership, and ownership.

H.E. Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director-General of Africa CDC, expressed, “The signing of this agreement solidifies our shared vision in nurturing a coordinated global response to global public health challenges. This action-oriented partnership aims to advance the New Public Health order and expand local manufacturing in Africa.”

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