Lolem B. Ngong is a seasoned Global Public Health professional, with more than 15 years of leadership in global health diplomacy and coordination of strategic partnerships to address threats to public health. Ms. Ngong serves as Chief of Staff at Amref Health Africa. An epidemiologist by training, Ms. Ngong has advised and led collaborations with governments, civil society organizations, academic institutions, multilateral organizations, and international donors.
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.