Vaccine against COVID-19

Development cooperation with Rwanda Pandemic response and vaccine production

Rwanda has managed to get through the COVID-19 pandemic with a comparatively low number of cases thanks to strict lockdowns, nationwide testing strategies and a successful vaccination campaign. About 70 per cent of the adult population has been double jabbed.

The pandemic-related economic downturn is a bigger challenge, especially for the services and tourism sector. The World Bank estimates that more than half a million people have been pushed back into poverty by the pandemic.

In order to lessen the economic fallout from the pandemic, Germany is using its development cooperation to support the expansion of social protection systems and make financing lines available for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Local vaccine production site

The African Union has set itself the goal of developing local vaccine production. Currently, only one per cent of the vaccines being used in Africa are actually produced on the continent; by 2040 it is to be 60 per cent.

Along with South Africa, Senegal and Ghana, Rwanda is one of the future sites for local vaccine production. In the short term, the focus is on the production of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. The long-term goal, however, is to produce vaccines against Malaria and tuberculosis locally.

Rwanda began very quickly to work on creating the necessary conditions for setting up vaccine production.

What is needed above all is

  • a regulatory framework for approval, production and export
  • training for future staff
  • development of the manufacturing ecosystem.

The BMZ is supporting the Rwandan government in its efforts to train skilled staff for vaccine production and contributing to the development of a regulatory framework.

To that end, a total of 35 million euros was made available in 2021 both bilaterally and via the East African Community (EAC).

As at: 23/02/2022