Senegal President in Rwanda for BioNTech Plant Launch

"The inauguration of the German Corporation BioNTech Africa, a cutting-edge manufacturing facility for mRNA-based vaccines"

March 25th, 2024
Editorial, News from Berlin
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Senegal's President Macky Sall arrived in Rwanda on Sunday evening ahead of the inauguration of BioNTech Africa, a cutting-edge manufacturing facility for mRNA-based vaccines, on Monday, December 18.

President Sall was received by Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Uzziel Ndagijimana at the Kigali International Airport. Earlier on Sunday, the Senegalese Presidency posted a tweet on X saying that President Sall was set to travel to Kigali, Rwanda at the invitation of President Paul Kagame for the launch of BioNTech Africa.

Tweet: Since 2021, the government of Rwanda has been working with BioNTech, a renowned German biotechnology company on the construction of the manufacturing plant for mRNA-based vaccines. mRNA vaccines work by providing body cells with instructions to produce a harmless part of the virus, teaching the immune system to recognise and defend against it.

These vaccines do not contain live viruses and cannot cause the disease, offering a safe and effective way to build immunity. ALSO READ: Construction of BioNTech vaccine plant launched in Kigali In 2021, a memorandum of understanding between the two parties paved the way for creating a BioNTech facility in the Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District. Following months of dedicated efforts, including the shipping and installation of BioNTainers—facilities designed for manufacturing a variety of mRNA-based vaccines—the factory is now ready.

Spanning approximately 30,000 square metres, the Rwanda-based facility is equipped with BioNTainers specifically tailored for the production of mRNA and formulated bulk drug products. ALSO READ: BioNTech first modular vaccine factory arrives in Rwanda The plant is expected to start by producing 50 million vaccines, but the production will increase depending on the demand. According to BionTech, the facility is expected to become the first node in Africa's decentralised and robust end-to-end manufacturing network. Aside from Kigali, BioNTech, in March, said it plans to ship BioNTainers to Senegal and “potentially” South Africa.

President Sall's most recent appearance in Rwanda was in July at the Women Deliver Conference, during which he pledged 150 scholarships for Afghan girls pursuing studies in the country.


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