Local manufacturing, local supply chains and health security in Africa: lessons from COVID-19

Banda, Geoffrey; Mugwagwa, Julius; Wanjala, Cecilia; Mackintosh, Maureen and Kale, Dinar (2021). Local manufacturing, local supply chains and health security in Africa: lessons from COVID-19. BMJ Global Health, 6(6), article no. e006362.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006362

Abstract

African commentators have long emphasised the importance of local manufacturing for local health security, but the argument has struggled to gain an international hearing.

COVID-19 has, however, demonstrated the health dangers from extreme import dependence and low purchasing power; it has also shown the scope and capability for local industrial innovation.

Local innovation and manufacturing scale-up during the pandemic was facilitated by adaptable government procurement policies and a health research base with strong links to manufacturing.

Constraints included lack of local testing and accreditation facilities, and skill and finance shortages.

African researchers and planners should be heard and supported when focusing on localising supply chains and tackling severe concentration risk in the interests of local health security.

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