Sibusiso Hlatjwako

Advocacy and Partnerships Manager for South Africa, PATH

Sibusiso is an experienced public health and policy practitioner.  He has a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Pretoria, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Witwatersrand University and a Bachelor of Nursing Science. He has expertise in health advocacy, public affairs, public health, communication and reputation management. He has worked as a Public Affairs Director for the Brunswick Group – a global communication advisory firm that helps clients navigate the interconnected worlds of business, politics and society to build trusted relationships with all stakeholders. He has also worked as a Public Affairs Director for the Africa Region at Aeras. He has worked in multiple country projects in managerial positions for more than 10 years. His experience includes working for international and local organizations including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Pretoria, Intrahealth International where he acted as Country Director. He has worked for The Aurum Institute as a Health System Strengthening Technical Advisor and as a Project Director for the Tobacco Taxation Project at the University of Cape Town. Sibusiso has worked on health systems strengthening projects in South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Zambia, Eswatini, and Malawi. He is passionate about health equity and advancing health innovations to solve the world’s pressing challenges.

4:20pm – 5:20pm EAT

Tuesday, 9 March 2021 Day 2

Vaccine Research, Development and Manufacturing on the African Continent

Hosted by Amref Health Africa

The coordination and collaboration of diverse partners – including governments, academia, foundations, the private sector and more – to accelerate the development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in record time is a remarkable testament to modern scientific capabilities. However, as the international community continues to advance COVID-19 vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and distribution, the available vaccine supply currently falls far short of global demand.

WHO has noted that Africa is too often at the back of the queue for new technologies and public health interventions, including vaccines. Africa accounts for over 15% of the global population, yet less than 1% of the world’s vaccine production. In addition, even though the region still imports 70%-90% of pharmaceuticals used in Africa, local manufacturing is poised with untapped capacity that can be urgently prioritized in the face of COVID-19 related shortages. It is therefore imperative for the continent’s leadership to remain engaged and fully involved in the global research and development ecosystem.

Amid the global shortfall of COVID-19 vaccines, there is growing focus on opportunities to scale up vaccine production capacity in Africa. Strengthening vaccine research, development and manufacturing capacity on the continent will set countries up to meet demand for other vaccines, and to respond to future pandemics and health emergencies. This session will explore key topics around advancing vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Africa, from expanding capacity for clinical trials to developing the nascent manufacturing industry. Experts at the forefront of driving health innovation on the continent will share their perspectives on how to leverage COVID-19 to accelerate local vaccine R&D and production in Africa, challenges to achieving this and the risks of ignoring this opportunity.