The Africa Export, Import Afreximbank is making available a $2 billon financial guarantee for all African countries to aid in the purchase of vaccines for the coronavirus.

This fund is provided at the African Union to be made accessible to all 55 member nations in the AU.

This follows the announcement by the Chairperson of the African Union, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa that the Union has secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for Africa, and therefore a pre order programme has been opened on the Africa Medical Supplies Platform.

The platform is to allow all member states to make online application for the amount of doses required in their respective countries.

The Africa Export Import bank, Afreximbank will facilitate payments by providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to $2 billion to the manufacturers on behalf of all the Member States.

While the taskforce team has secured provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccines doses from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, the medical platform has opened pre-orders, offering an equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines for Africa.

“Afreximbank is proud to expand its support to African economies in their bid to contain the pandemic. Our vaccine financing facility builds on the success of our Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility to open access to COVID-19 vaccines to African states”, said Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank.

To support vaccination operations, the Africa Medical Supplies Platform has also launched a new category on vaccine accessories which will help Member States to procure products such as ultra-low temperature freezers, personal protection equipment, among others.

 According to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the biggest challenges to COVID-19 vaccine access in Africa have been financing of the vaccines and the logistics of vaccinating at scale.

However, from today onwards African Union Member States will be able to start placing online pre orders for their vaccines allocation through the Medical Supplies Platform.