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    Mastercard Foundation and IPD bolster the continent's capacity to produce vaccines

    The Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) and the Mastercard Foundation have unveiled a partnership called Madiba (Manufacturing in Africa for Disease Immunisation and Building Autonomy), marking a milestone in the pursuit of vaccine manufacturing independence in Africa. The partnership involves a $45m investment.
    Source: Supplied.
    Source: Supplied.

    The multi-year project, aimed at developing and building a world-class workforce to support vaccine manufacturing, will establish a centre of training excellence to equip talented young people, particularly young women, with specialised skills in vaccine research, manufacturing, production, and distribution.

    Based in Senegal, Madiba aligns with the “Plan Sénégal Émergent” (Emerging Senegal Plan) to manufacture half of the country’s pharmaceutical products by 2035 as well as the African Union’s ambitious target to fulfill 60% of the continent’s vaccine needs by 2040. As a blueprint for future vaccine-manufacturing facilities across Africa, Madiba marks a crucial first step towards vaccine self-sufficiency in Africa.

    In February 2023, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) launched the regional capability and capacity centre network (RCCCN), focusing on talent development for manufacturing and research, and selected IPD as its inaugural centre.

    “Between 9,000 and 14,000 full-time employees will be needed across vaccine manufacturing and research roles across Africa by 2040. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union together have called for a new public health order which will safeguard the health and economic security of the continent as it strives to meet the aspirations of the Agenda 2063.

    “A key pillar of this vision seeks to expand the local manufacture of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Presently, less than 1% of vaccines administered on the continent are manufactured locally. This places a great financial burden on the health systems of African countries and reduces their ability to respond to pandemics and other health crises,” states Jean Kaseya, director general of Africa CDC.

    Through the Madiba project, IPD will develop a specialised training curriculum for the African continent. This aims to train cohorts of talented young Africans from all over the continent, with a goal of enrolling 40% female.

    It will also incorporate key ecosystem actors such as world-top experts, universities, and manufacturers to address the development of the requisite skills required for highly specialised functions, including vaccine production, quality assurance, supply chain, procurement, and clinical trials.

    Transformation on the continent

    Graduates of the Madiba training programme will help drive the success of other manufacturing facilities, contributing to a multiplier effect and transformation of vaccine-manufacturing capabilities on the continent.

    “This partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and IPD will enhance human capital development for biomanufacturing in Africa. The project is a crucial pillar for vaccine equity and autonomy and a significant driver for high-skilled job creation among young and female Africans.

    “We aim to train a workforce for Madiba and other African vaccine manufacturers, develop partnerships with African universities and promote science education among young students. We extend our gratitude to the Mastercard Foundation for investing in our mission to accelerate equitable and sustainable access to health in Africa along with other financial and technical partners of the Madiba project,’’ said Amadou Sall, the chief executive officer of IPD.

    “This partnership builds on the game-changing intent of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative. That is, to keep everyone safe by rolling out Covid-19 vaccinations while ensuring Africa’s long-term health security by building vaccine-manufacturing expertise and workforce on the continent. In the process, our collaboration will also benefit the livelihoods of young people in Africa.” said Reeta Roy, president, and chief executive officer of the Mastercard Foundation.

    The partnership between the IPD and the Mastercard Foundation will accelerate the development of a formally trained workforce in Africa to support vaccine-manufacturing projects on the continent. This partnership also aligns with the foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

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