During the Covid-19 pandemic, when everyone was hard-hit; the wealthy countries had an end in sight because they quickly and successfully produced vaccines. We watched them helplessly buy the vaccines themselves for their own population- at the beginning. Africans were simply reduced to beggars, even after they mobilized funds to procure vaccines. ALSO READ: BioNTech: Kagame hails launch of first plant in Rwanda, calls for more trust, cooperation In February 2022, the World Health Organisation reported that 55.5 percent people had been vaccinated globally, while a paltry 10.2 percent of African residents were at the time. The major contributor to this discrepancy was insufficient availability of vaccines. Even the few Africans that were vaccinated, it was thanks to the COVAX Facility which had donated 69 percent of all vaccines received in the African region. But one would only wonder, when will Africa be a priority for anything?- But now let’s discuss health. Africa currently produces only around 1 percent of the vaccines used globally. Although undoubtedly beneficial, initiatives like the COVAX which only come through when in crises are not that reliable. Routine vaccines, such as Chickenpox, Hepatitis A & B, HPV, and measles, for instance, are still imported. ALSO READ: PHOTOS: Rwanda signs host agreement for African pharmaceutical foundation However, maybe Africa too, has an end in sight. BioNTech’s partnership with Africa demonstrates that vaccine technology can be democratized, just like President Paul Kagame put it. Now, Africa’s vaccine-manufacturing capabilities will grow to the next level, and perhaps contribute to the continent’s resilience for future unexpected crises. BioNTech plans to produce mRNA-based vaccines for the African continent in Rwanda. Various mRNA vaccines such as the Covid-19 vaccine and, if approved, a whole host of other mRNA vaccines for diseases, such as tuberculosis and malaria, could potentially be produced in Kigali. ALSO READ: Rwanda unveils BioNTech’s first vaccine manufacturing plant in Africa While the facility in Kigali that was launched on December 18 will not bridge the whole vaccination gap that Africa has suffered and remains to suffer, it is a breakthrough for the African health system. This partnership is sustainable and beneficial to Africans and the diaspora.