Kenya to partner with Univercells to set up Biotechnology Center
Kenya is seeking to partner with Univercells to develop a biotechnology centre in Nairobi that will manufacture vaccines and drugs.
President William Ruto said the biotechnology centre is part of the government’s plan for Universal Healthcare. The Head of State said the partnership once finalised will also include skills transfer to boost the country’s human capital in the pharmaceutical industry.
The President spoke during a visit to Univercells group biotechnology center in Jumet, Belgium. President Ruto welcomed Belgium investors to Kenya saying Kenya offers a conducive business environment. “The investment your organization is going to make in Kenya is testimony that the global south is not as risky as they are being profiled,” he said.
Minister of Development Cooperation and of Major Cities Caroline Gennez and Minister-President of Wallonia Elio Di Rupo accompanied the President.
Ms. Gennez said Belgium is keen on decentralizing the production of drugs to help Kenya and other African states achieve universal healthcare.
“Techology transfer is something that can truly change the world,” she said.
The project is in line with the Kenya Kwanza agenda, advancing the economic pillar of local manufacturing and the development objective on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). It also supports the Africa CDC’s vision to build manufacturing capacity in Africa to produce at least 1.5 billion vaccine doses per year by 2040, enabling the African vaccine-manufacturing industry to develop, produce, and supply over 60 percent of the total vaccine doses required on the continent by 2040, up from less than 1 percent.
Kenyan healthcare and research leaders are driving this initiative. Building the right training and research ecosystem will ensure that end-to-end research, development and manufacturing of biologics can become a reality in Kenya.