The European Union (EU) and the German Development Cooperation have jointly launched a 2.8 million euro Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing project in Ghana.

The vaccine manufacturing project will be implemented over a 27-month period for the institutional and technical strengthening of Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority.

Speaking at the launch, EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly pledged his outfit’s continuous allegiance to supporting Ghana.

“We have mobilised today 2.8 million euros. This is just the beginning, but it means that as we have done with the vaccines, the EU has been by far the largest vaccine provider worldwide with 2.2 billion vaccines; twice as much as China and thrice as much as the United States”.

Another partner of the project is the German Development Cooperation. The Cooperation through its subsidiary GIZ, is responsible for technical and logistical support.

Dr. Holger Till, Team Leader for GIZ Development Partnerships in Health, revealed that “we have different funds for the vaccine committee. Over the period of three years, we had the support of five million euros. In addition to it, this year we have two million euros with which we’re supporting the Government of Ghana in the area of vaccine uptake, vaccine logistics, among others to make sure that the level of vaccination in Ghana will rise.”

Chief Executive of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Delese Mimi Darko stated that the project will strengthen capacity of the authority for vaccine production and market authorisation.

“In every country that vaccines are manufactured, the regulator has the mandate to release every batch and that’s where the FDA is going to build capacity in. In the past, it was not a requirement so even though we’re at maturity level. So that is the capacity we’re now going to acquire because resources are scarce, if we do not need to release vaccines, we do not have to do it,” she said.

The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare indicated that government will be collaborating with the private sector to establish vaccine manufacturing companies across the country.

“We want to build capacity in Ghana to become a hub like its being done in other countries. So government of Ghana is going to work through the private sector. The private sector will be assisted, facilitated and coordinated to be able to put up factories in the country to provide well recognised vaccines and other biologicals,” he emphasised.

The project, ‘Supporting Vaccine Manufacturing in Ghana’ seeks to generate 5 million euros by 2024.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore the importance of investing in local vaccine manufacturing. This motivated government to set up the Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee to oversee the agenda, themed, ‘Transforming Ghana into Pan-African Vaccine Manufacturing Hub’.