US biotech company Moderna has finalised an agreement to set up a $500 million mRNA vaccine facility in Nairobi, the only one in Africa.
Pleased to have finalised the deal between the Government and Moderna to build a Sh65 Billion mRNA vaccine facility in Nairobi, the only such establishment in Africa. pic.twitter.com/dfT48zYUnD
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) March 30, 2023
The company has other mRNA manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
“We hope to bring mRNA innovation to the people of Africa in areas of high unmet need, such as acute respiratory infections, as well as persistent infectious diseases like HIV and outbreak threats such as Zika and Ebola,” said Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel during the American Chamber of Commerce regional trade summit in Nairobi.
Once completed, it is estimated that the mRNA facility will produce up to 500 million doses of vaccines annually. In addition, the facility will have a surge capacity to rapidly scale and respond to public health emergencies on the continent and globally.
“This investment creates the momentum to meet the $10 billion annual target under the Government’s manufacturing 20 by 30 vision, where we plan to grow the contribution of manufacturing to GDP to 20% by the year 2030 from the current 7%,” said Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Trade, and Industry Moses Kuria.
The Government of Kenya has championed an accelerated investment agenda to grow foreign direct investment levels from the current levels of $448 million annually to $10 billion annually, making the country’s goal the continent’s most ambitious agenda to attract investments as an enabler to job creation.