What will it take to build an African medicines industry?

Scaling up African manufacturing capacity is crucial not only in the fight against COVID-19, but also for the development and roll out of vaccinations against other diseases, such as malaria, HIV and any future diseases.

What are the steps needed to make this a reality? This data dive maps out the challenge and the opportunity.

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Around 99% of vaccines administered in Africa are produced outside the continent. This became a real problem during COVID-19, when rich countries monopolized the majority of vaccines. In response the African Union set a target of producing 60% of its own vaccines by 2040.

Scaling up African manufacturing capacity is crucial not only in the fight against COVID-19, but also for the development and roll out of vaccinations against other diseases, such as malaria, HIV and any future diseases.

It is also an economic and job creation strategy. The US pharma industry earned $425 billion in 2020, making up 3.2% of GDP. In the EU, the industry is worth $282 billion. By 2040, the industry in Africa could be worth $17 billion a year.

But what are the steps needed to make this a reality? This data dive maps out the challenge and the opportunity.

The key facts

  • 2x: Africa has nearly twice the disease burden per capita compared to the rest of the world.
  • 99%: African imports 99% of the vaccines administered.
  • 25%: Percent of the world’s total vaccine doses used by sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 5: Number of African countries that have the facilities to produce vaccines — Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia.
  • $3 billion – $17 billion: The potential worth of the 2040 African vaccine market.

Why dispersing vaccine manufacturing matters

Four multinational manufacturers (GSK, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur, and Merck) represent 80% of revenues from global vaccine sales. Production is highly concentrated in Europe and North America.

COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers in each country