BioNTech, the German biotechnology company that partnered with Pfizer to develop one of the earliest Covid-19 vaccines, will soon open a new modular vaccine plant in Rwanda following the arrival of its first components on Monday. The development is a major boost for Rwanda and Africa in the fight against Covid-19 and future pandemics. It reflects a growing recognition of the need for vaccine equity. The modular factory, which has been set up in partnership with the Rwandan government, is the first of its kind on the continent. It has the capacity to produce up to 500 million doses of mRNA-based vaccines per year, which is significant considering the challenges that many African countries face in accessing vaccines. The factory is designed to be mobile, making it easy to move to areas where vaccines are needed the most. ALSO READ: WHO boss congratulates Rwanda on progress towards vaccine manufacturing With Africa presently producing less than one per cent of the vaccines it consumes, the most significant benefit of the new factory is that it will help to secure sufficient vaccine supplies while making Africa less vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and shortages. This is a critical step towards ensuring everyone can access life-saving vaccines. By building local capacity for vaccine production, the continent will be better positioned to respond to future health emergencies, such as pandemics, and meet its population's ongoing health needs. Coronavirus has underscored that we are all interconnected and that one country's health affects the health of all. Building vaccine production capacity in Africa is not only the right thing to do from a moral perspective, but it is also in our collective interest to ensure everyone has access to vaccines. The new vaccine factory is an important milestone for Rwanda’s aspirations to become a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub, and good news for Africa. Health security should be a fundamental human right for Africans, and Made-in-Rwanda vaccines – and other essential medicines – will help fulfill that dream. They will be made in Africa, for Africans, by Africans.