Rwanda has penned a $3.6 million deal with the European Union in a bid to boost the nation’s laboratory muscle to attract Covid-19 manufacturing investors.
The funds will reinforce the Foods and Drugs Authority’s quality control for medical products so that the regulator can get necessary certification from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“What we signed is a step to revamp and also strengthen the Rwanda Foods and Drugs Authority. The money we will receive from the EU will support the acquisition of laboratory equipment to make it a modern facility that will enable Rwanda to get a WHO certification,” the Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Development Board Clare Akamanzi said. Adding, “The WHO certification we need for this will also build the confidence of investors who want to produce vaccines. They (investors) will be able to trust the regulatory capacity we want to strengthen with this funding.
”After securing international backing, Rwanda is set to launch the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines in coming months using the mRNA technology, speaking during the Qatar Economic Forum, Rwandan President Paul Kagame indicated that negotiations with partners in local vaccine manufacture have advanced and it should launch soon. His address came moments after Senegal, South Africa and Rwanda were named potential Africa’s regional Covid-19 vaccines production hubs. “For Rwanda, in particular, we have partnered with some industries that are specialising in mRNA technology. So, we have already discussed that technology with people who will help with financing and I think in a few months we should hear a different story,” Kagame said.