BioNTech Starts Construction of First mRNA Vaccine Manufacturing Facility in Africa 


  • The first container modules are expected to be delivered by the end of 2022 from Kigali, Rwanda, the site of BioNTech’s first African modular mRNA manufacturing factory.
  • The facility will come with two BioNTainers initially, and it is anticipated that by 2024, there will be roughly 100 employees working there. 
  • BioNTech’s malaria vaccine candidates will begin first-in-human trials later in 2022.
  • As part of BioNTech’s adherence to the Paris Agreement, a climate-neutral power source is planned for a factory in Rwanda.


Article Summary:

BioNTech SE reached the next milestone in the establishment of scalable mRNA vaccine production in Africa on its planned schedule. As construction work for the first African mRNA manufacturing facility in Kigali, Rwanda, got underway, BioNTech welcomed its African partners for the first time on the African continent. The goal is for the first batch of manufacturing BioNTainers to be delivered to the site by the end of 2022. In close collaboration with its local partners, the business plans to open new factories in Senegal and South Africa. An extensive and decentralised African end-to-end manufacturing network will include the initial site as a node. Every vaccine that will be produced in the network will be intended for people.

During the event in Kigali, BioNTech provided an update on the joint establishment of mRNA manufacturing facilities and the development plans for BioNTech’s malaria vaccine candidates. 

Working with staff from its sites in Germany, BioNTech, the biopharmaceutical company that co-developed the first mRNA-based vaccine that was approved (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine), will hasten the training of about 100 coworkers who will be in charge of production and all related laboratory and quality assurance tasks on site. About 20 posts, are now being filled by the first local employees.

The 30,000 square metre Rwandan facility will initially be furnished with two BioNTainers (one for the production of mRNA, and one for the production of the formulated bulk drug product). If the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and BioNTech’s investigational malaria and tuberculosis vaccines are developed, approved, or authorised by regulatory authorities, the BioNTainers will be equipped to produce a variety of mRNA-based vaccines targeted to the needs of the African Union member states. For instance, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine’s initial annual capacity is predicted to be around 50 million doses. It is anticipated that manufacturing would start in Rwanda’s BioNTainers 12 to 18 months after they are installed.

The Paris Agreement, an international agreement on climate change, is backed by BioNTech. In order to do this, the company is dedicated to running its African production facilities, including the original facility in Rwanda, using renewable energy in a climate-neutral manner. Izuba Energy will make efforts to facilitate the delivery of renewable energy to the site.

The Company unveiled their method for producing vaccines at scale in February 2022 by creating and supplying turnkey mRNA manufacturing facilities based on a container solution.

Source: BioNTech