The Africa Medical Supplies Platform, AMSP, on Tuesday, commenced the COVID-19 vaccines pre-order programme for Nigeria and the 54 other African Union Member States on behalf of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
A statement by the platform said African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) would facilitate payments by providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to $2bn to the manufacturers on behalf of the Member States.
This move follows the announcement made by the Chairperson, African Union (AU), President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the union had secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for Africa through its COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).
The AVATT has secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccines doses from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca while AMSP said it had opened pre-orders, today, Tuesday offering an equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines doses for Nigeria and 54 African Union member states.
AMSP said it is a single-source platform enabling faster, more transparent and cost-effective access to COVID-19 supplies.
“From today onwards African Union Member States will be able to start placing online pre orders for their vaccines allocation through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform,” Founder & Executive Chair of Janngo and Managing Partner of Janngo Capital., Fatoumata Bâ, said.
“These are historical times. For the first time in history, Africa has secured access to millions of vaccine doses in the middle of a pandemic as most of Western countries,” said African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa. “There is still a huge shortage of vaccine doses and that is why this continental collaboration has designed a fair allocation coupled with timely and equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines across the continent.”
The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank Afreximbank Prof. Benedict Oramah, “By providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to US$2 billion to candidate vaccine manufacturers, Afreximbank will ensure that African States are able to rapidly access COVID-19 vaccines, at competitive prices and in a timely manner thereby contributing to saving lives and livelihoods.”
AMSP added that it had also launched a new category on vaccine accessories, which would help Member States to procure products such as ultra-low temperature freezers, personal protection equipment, cotton wool rolls, syringes and needles.
READ ALSO: AU Secures 270 Million Vaccines For African Countries
“The biggest challenges to COVID-19 vaccine access in Africa have been financing of the vaccines and the logistics of vaccinating at scale, but we are glad that this gap is being filled by the Afreximbank financing facility. The critical decision now is how to get started so that once we start there will be no disruptions and this is where AMSP will play a very big role,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centres for Africa CDC.