Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 12 April 2021- Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, on Monday, attended a virtual high-level panel discussion focusing on financing if and investment in manufacturing of vaccines in Africa. The summit session to discuss Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capability was organized by Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) under the auspices of the African Union (AU).
Africa faces a huge dilemma in mobilizing resources to manufactures vaccines. The road to vaccine manufacturing in Africa is a difficult task fraught with risks and potential costs. Given the unprecedented levels of support for increased vaccine security and self-reliance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an opportunity to accelerate efforts now.
The discussion among the invited panelists centered on the critical role that development banks and other financiers can play in advancing vaccine manufacturing in Africa.
In his intervention at the high-level panel, Dr. Hajjar enumerated IsDB Group’s efforts in confronting the scourge of the global pandemic. “We at IsDB have developed a US$ 4.4 Billion ‘Strategic Preparedness and Response Program (SPRP)’ against Covid-19, and in its 1st phase we have 22 countries from Africa that have benefited from it, while relevant projects are being implemented smoothly as we speak,” he stated.
On COVDI-19 vaccines, Dr. Hajjar said: “The Bank has developed the IVAC for IsDB COVID-19 Vaccine Access Facility which covers the phases of vaccine development, manufacturing, procuring, and delivery to its end beneficiaries. It is a program with initial financing of US$ 875 million that allows us to leverage IsDB Group entities’ mandates, and for example, create a specific insurance-product with The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) to reduce the price of vaccines for our Member Countries.”
The high-level discussion on this important topic saw inputs by representatives from World Bank, and African Development Bank, amongst other key organizations.