CoDA Independent Task Team on Development of Vaccines
and Equitable, Universal Access to Essential Vaccines and Vaccinations in Africa
Access to vaccines by African countries has been limited because of the almost total dependence on foreign countries for their human vaccine supplies. In April 2021, the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) convened a meeting on equitable access to vaccines and vaccination in Africa involving scientists, researchers, community and religious leaders, media, civil society, youth, and the private sector. Participants emphasized the need for investments by the African private sector in research, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines, to increase access to essential vaccines and vaccinations across the continent.
Following the meeting, CoDA established an independent task team of senior African and non-African experts which in partnership with the African Health Business, African Research Universities Alliance, Igbinedion University Teaching Hospital, and other stakeholders will facilitate implementation of the initiative.
Objective of the task team
The main objective of the task team is to support the African Union in its efforts to enable the participation of African private sector and civil society, through established African Union policy instruments, in generating demand for and enabling manufacturing and distribution of essential vaccines on the continent.
The task team will:
- Map existing continental and regional strategies, policies, and frameworks on essential vaccines and vaccinations in Africa to identify current challenges and gaps.
- Engage relevant stakeholders (e.g. public and private sector, academia, civil society, African philanthropists, etc.) on the development of strategies in support of indigenous manufacturing of essential vaccines for the African continent.
- Recommend financing and other innovative investments required to support indigenous vaccine manufacturing and facilitate equitable and universal access to essential vaccines and vaccinations across Africa.
- Contribute to the development of technical and policy papers in support of indigenous manufacturing of essential vaccines and oversee their dissemination.
- Foster partnerships on research of essential candidate vaccine targets that will inform manufacturing processes aimed at increasing access to vaccines and vaccinations across Africa, such as the African Health Business, African Research Universities Alliance, and Igbinedion University Teaching Hospital.
Rationale for the initiative
The CoDA initiative on the development and equitable, universal access to essential vaccines and vaccinations in Africa was established within the framework of the African Union Agenda 2063, which seeks to promote pan-Africanism and African renaissance by harnessing the continental endowments embodied in African people, history, cultures, and natural resources to effect equitable and people-centered growth and development on the continent, with Africa taking full responsibility for financing its development. The initiative partly supports implementation of the “Framework for Fair, Equitable and Timely Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines in Africa”, an African Union instrument developed by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to take appropriate measures to ensure timely and equitable access to vaccines to safeguard lives and livelihoods in Africa and slow the progression of pandemics and outbreaks.
This initiative provides a platform for the involvement of the African private sector in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines in Africa and a connection between African policymakers and relevant stakeholders on the issue of vaccines and vaccination.