• 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.


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/'>http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/'>http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

Cite as

Banda, G., Mugwagwa, J., Wanjala, C., Mackinosh, M. & Kale, D. 2021, 'Local manufacturing, local supply chains and health security in Africa: Lessons from COVID-19', BMJ Global Health, 6(6), article no: e006362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006362

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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