Morocco has unveiled a landmark deal to produce Africa’s first Covid-19 vaccines in partnership with China’s Sinopharm and made it clear that the goals are meeting self-sufficiency in key vaccines and exporting to the rest of the continent.
The North African country is expected to start production with 5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine monthly to be increased steadily.
During the pandemic, Morocco matched its south-south solidarity ideals with action sending masks, sanitizers, vital medicine and protective gear to countries in the continent carried by a fleet of its flag carrier RAM.
The move was reflective of shared-responsibility to fight the vaccine gap in the continent which has benefited the least from the global vaccination push.
Therefore, having vaccines made in Morocco would make it easier to export to African states building on Morocco’s solid connections and network.
It will also make vaccines less costly by cutting the costs of transportation and logistics. Morocco will be the closest point for African countries to acquire vaccines.
Vaccine manufacturing in Morocco was part of a comprehensive strategy, spearheaded by King Mohammed VI. The country took preventive measures earlier and made sure to mitigate the social and economic repercussions of the pandemic by rolling out cash handouts and aid to most hit sectors.
The industrial sector in the country was encouraged to invest in anti-Covid-19 equipment to ensure self-sufficiency in face-masks and sanitizers etc.
Manufacturing vaccines was the ultimate move to further reinforce Morocco’s response to the pandemic and ensure its self-sufficiency and readiness to help other friendly states in the continent.