Marburg, 16 February 2022

Let me first of all thank Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci for the remarkable presentation we have just heard.

The modular production system is a major technological breakthrough, as have just witnessed ourselves. It puts advanced vaccine manufacturing within the reach of countries, where, only last year, many considered this impossible.

Vaccine equity is not about what happened in the past. It is about the future. There could be another pandemic.

But we will be faster and better prepared next time, because of this strong partnership between BioNTech and Africa.

The choice to deploy this solution first in Africa is a strong signal that a system designed to succeed on our continent can help speed up the pace of innovation for all of us.

A commitment of this scale from a major pharmaceutical company is something we have never seen in Africa, and we recognize its significance.

Rwanda is firmly committed to this partnership and we will do our part to ensure its success and sustainability.

But none of us can do it alone.

First of all, we are working together with Ghana and Senegal, and the African Union, especially the medicines regulatory efforts spearheaded by Africa CDC and AUDA-NEPAD, leading to the African Medicines Agency. The distinguished leaders who have been leading this endeavour are present here and I want to extend our thanks to them.

The strong commitment from the European Commission, and personally by President Ursula von der Leyen, has been decisive.

The World Health Organisation is championing technology and skills transfer to Africa, and this initiative contributes to that goal.

In the International Finance Corporation and the European Investment Bank, we have partners committed to helping leverage BioNTech’s investment into vibrant biotech ecosystems in Africa.

And without the kENUP Foundation, we would not be here today. I wish to thank all of you. The dedication and professionalism of Holm Keller and his team has been extraordinary.

It will take all of us together to bring this project to fruition. So let’s get to work and move as quickly as we can. And once again, my most sincere gratitude to all of you here present and those who have taken part in making this a reality for all of us. Thank you so much.