Svenja Schulze, the Germany Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, described BioNTech’s proposed investment in Rwanda as a step towards achieving vaccine equity. Schulze who was, on Tuesday, delivering a public lecture at the University of Rwanda’s Gikondo campus is in the country as part of her support to establish vaccine production capacities in Africa. She told her audience that; “In order to defeat the pandemic, it is necessary that more and more people, especially in developing countries get access to vaccines.” The World Health Organisation (WHO), she said, has set an ambitious target of vaccinating 70 per cent of the population of all countries by mid this year. “Covid-19 has been a wake-up call that the world is not fine until Africa is fine…we can only master complex challenges such as this pandemic with the help of global solidarity, innovation, and cooperation between partners,” she said, adding that; “Equal access to vaccines is the way out of this pandemic.” In making a strong case for investments such as the one by BioNTech, Schulze emphasised that vaccines donations and financial support to Africa were not a sustainable way to fight the pandemic. Schulze’s visit to Rwanda, her first in Africa as a minister, comes at the time BioNTech has charted a plan to establish the first Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa, and is expected to ship the modular mRNA production units to Rwanda and/or Senegal by mid this year. Dr Daniel Ngamije, Rwanda’s Minister of Health, said that; “This is in the line with Rwanda’s vision to focus on building a knowledge-based economy which implies increasing research and innovation capacity through fostering excellence in research and development.” Vaccine inequity is more pronounced in Africa than anywhere else. “Securing a sufficient large tool of people with qualifications in science, technology, engineering, and other disciplines is critical to African countries to create local manufacturing infrastructures and that’s what Rwanda has been doing,” Ngamije said.