The number of professionals benefiting from masters programs and short courses in vaccines, immunization and health supply management at the University of Rwanda could soon, more than double, officials have said. This follows an agreement signed between the University of Rwanda and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) on Thursday, February 9, in Kigali. University of Rwanda Vice Chancellor Didas Kayihura Muganga, as well as visiting Director General of the IVI, Jerome Kim presided over the signing ceremony. According to UR, approved vaccines prevent 2 to 3 million deaths per year. However, there is a lack of equitable access to vaccines in developing countries, Rwanda inclusive. This has been characterized by different challenges in the life cycle of vaccine production including process development, lead time, intellectual property, and local vaccine production. But according to Kayihura, a robust and stable manufacturing process and constant raw material supplies over decades is critical. Kayihura explained that in a continuously evolving vaccine landscape, time has come for developing countries to manufacture their own vaccines besides having supply security, control over production, scheduling and sustainability, control of costs, socio-economic development, and rapid response to local epidemics. “We therefore welcome this collaboration with the International Vaccine Institute, especially looking at their expertise in this field,” he added. There is a need for capacity building of workforce development, technology transfer, for our local context. For instance, he said, Africa still lags behind its 2040 targets where the continent looks to have over 7000 trained professionals. “We aim to have a significant contribution as the UR to support in achieving this target.” For IVI DG Jerome Kim, technology transfer has improved vaccine access and reduced prices of vaccines. And for IVI, he added, capacity building for the manufacturing of vaccines in developing countries has always been an area of paramount importance and more so as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have dozens of Rwandan students coming for exchange programs in Seoul where we are based to get hands-on training, and through this agreement we plan to have the number doubled.” Kim also pointed out that Rwanda has notably committed to creating an indigenous vaccine industry, with the country being selected as the host of the Africa Medicines Agency (AMA) headquarters, recently. “We are committed to supporting that cause as the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), and this is just the beginning step.” Jerome Kim has been in Rwanda for the past three days together with his delegation, as part of the efforts to explore potential areas in areas of bio-manufacturing. The visit comes a few months after Rwanda joined the body.