The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the African Union Commission on Tuesday, April 13 announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding, which aims to strengthen ties between the organizations and the Africa CDC—a specialized institution of the African Union responsible for the prevention and control of diseases in Africa—to enhance vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Africa.
This collaboration forms a major part of CEPI’s longer-term epidemic and pandemic strategy, announced in March, 2021. As part of this strategy, CEPI aims to work with low-income and middle-income countries to develop the infrastructure and expertise to undertake the epidemiological and clinical studies needed to advance vaccine development, support technology transfer, and develop national and regional manufacturing capacity that will enable these countries to take full ownership of their national health security.
Scope of the collaboration
As part of the expanded relationship, CEPI, the African Union, the Africa CDC will work to:
• Strengthen pandemic and outbreak preparedness on the continent, building on key lessons from the COVID-19 and the procurement and distribution of vaccines through COVAX and African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), established and endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government on 20th of August, 2020;
• Invest in vaccine R&D innovations to enable faster and easier production of vaccines in Africa;
• Invest in capacity building and training to foster the development of local expertise needed to boost vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Africa;
• Strengthen institutions that enhance enabling science need for vaccine development—for example, through investments in regional laboratory and research hubs across Africa
• Build partnerships that enable the sustainable expansion of vaccine manufacturing in Africa.