President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says BioNTech, the German biotechnology company, will contribute to the construction of a modular production facility in Ghana for vaccines such as those for malaria and tuberculosis.
Speaking at the 73rd edition of the annual New Year School and Conference, held at the University of Ghana, Legon, President Akufo-Addo announced that Ghana is also on her way to establishing domestic manufacturing plants for fill, finish and packaging of COVID-19 vaccines.
The president told guests at the launch of the New Year School: “I will, on 16 February, together with His Excellency Monsieur Macky Sall, president of the Republic of Senegal, and His Excellency Mr Paul Kagame, president of the Republic of Rwanda, inspect in Marburg, Germany, the production facilities that we need to employ to this end.
“We are going to build a pan-African project with these two sister African nations, where, initially, the fill and finish plant will be located in Ghana.”
Breaking the cycle
The president continued, “BioNTech of Germany, the now renowned health technology company which works with Pfizer, has agreed to be our partner, and will contribute also to the construction of a modular production facility for other vaccines as well, such as those for malaria and tuberculosis in Ghana.”
Delivering a speech on the theme “COVID-19 and Socio-Economic Dynamics in Ghana”, President Akufo-Addo said that the pandemic has illustrated vividly the need for self-reliance in all areas of social and economic life.
“That is why the government encouraged and facilitated the domestic manufacture of personal protective equipment at the height of their global shortages, which has enabled Ghanaian companies today to be exporting such products within the ECOWAS region.
“It is key that we also break the cycle of dependence on foreigners in the fields of science and medicine,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated that Ghana should never be in the situation “of beggars that we were at the height of the pandemic, when we could not access vaccines, which were being hoarded by the rich, developed nations of the world. Charity, they quite rightly say, begins at home.”
Be a citizen
He urged all Ghanaians to get vaccinated to help end the spread of the coronavirus, as the science shows that getting vaccinated “is the most efficient way to defeat the virus and go back to our normal way of life, reopen fully our economy, and return our nation on to the path of progress and prosperity”.
The president said that the government has succeeded in securing considerable quantities of vaccines for the country: nearly 26 million doses so far, with more on the way.
“Thus far, a total of 10,451,662 vaccine doses have been administered. Seven million and seventy thousand, seven hundred and nineteen persons have received at least one jab, with 3,380,943 persons fully vaccinated.
“So, I entreat all those who have not been vaccinated to do so. Our responsibility to one another requires that we be vaccinated,” he stressed.