Construction of the first state-of-the-art BioNTech mRNA production facility in Africa begun in Kigali on 23 June 2022. BioNTech co-developed the first approved mRNA-based vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine) and is setting up the facility as part of a decentralised pan-African end-to-end manufacturing network. The facility will be able to manufacture a range of mRNA-based vaccines targeted to the needs of the African Union member states, with the initial annual capacity estimated to be approximately 50 million doses.
Dignitaries invited by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda included Heads of state and government from Africa and around the world, leaders of the African Union, European Union, WHO and WTO. BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin also attended the breaking of ground at the first BioNTainer site.
The first set of manufacturing BioNTainers are scheduled to arrive in Kigali by the end of 2022. Manufacturing is planned to commence 12-18 months after installation. BioNTech has partnered with energy company Izuba to provide renewable energy for the facility.
The facility is approximately about 30 000 square meters and will initially be equipped with two BioNTainers. BioNTech will engage highly skilled professionals from their sites in Germany to train 100 professionals in Africa to run the production and all associated laboratory and quality assurance tasks on site. The hiring of the first 20 local personnel has commenced.