Ethiopia Breaks Ground on Vaccine Manufacturing Plant

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has begun building a vaccine manufacturing plant with an initial investment of more than 70 million US Dollars.

The construction project was launched by a newly formed state-owned vaccine manufacturing company – ShieldVax Enterprise – on Monday.





The ShieldVax Enterprise was established by decree of the Council of Ministers in August 2023 to manufacture vaccines and related products locally and redress Ethiopia’s reliance on imported pharmaceutical vaccines.

The move is also part of an import substitution push of the country that spends more than a billion US dollars annually to meet 85% of its pharmaceutical drug demands.

ShieldVax Enterprise – set up as a subsidiary of the state-owned Biofarm Group – officially started its operation on Monday in an official event that saw the foundation for its vaccine manufacturing construction project laid at the Kilinto Industrial Park.

“The project launching and commencement of the ShieldVax Enterprise… marks a significant stride in vaccine manufacturing in Ethiopia,” Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said.



The ShieldVax Enterprise will make at least a $70 million investment to set up the first phase of the manufacturing plant at the Kilinto IP – which is dedicated by the government to pharmaceutical industries.

“ShieldVax Enterprise will be a cGMP-compliant manufacturing facility,” Health Minister Dr Lia said.

It will make a significant contribution in replacing imported pharmaceuticals with locally manufactured products and save the country’s foreign currency, according to the health minister.

The demand for pharmaceuticals in Ethiopia has been growing at an average of 15% for the past 5 years and is projected to reach $1.8 billion in 2025 and $4 billion in 2030.

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