GENEVA, June 22 — The South African government and the World Health Organization (WHO) are making progress to set up a technology transfer hub in South Africa, notably for the technology of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, according to the WHO on Monday.
“I’m delighted to announce that the WHO is in discussions with a consortium of companies and institutions to establish a technology transfer hub in South Africa,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference.
The WHO recently called for proposals to establish such hubs for COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and had received 50 propositions, half of which from companies willing to share their know-how.
The hub will “help put Africa on a path to self-determination” notably by allowing the continent to manufacture its own vaccines, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the press conference via video link.
“This will enhance our capacity to take responsibility for the health of our people, for the health of Africans,” he added.
The future hub might enable South Africa to create vaccines in nine to 12 months, said WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan.
She added that the intellectual property waiver proposed by South Africa and other countries would facilitate the exchange of technology between institutions and would make the process “smoother.”