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African health-tech, biotech can emerge as Covid winners, report says

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 18:14

A man receives a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Masaka hospital in Kigali, Rwanda March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana

Africa’s health-tech and biotech industries have the opportunity to use Covid-19 to accelerate their development, according to a new report.

Investment in African health-tech start-ups reached $103m in 2020, almost four times the 2019 level, while biotech investment also climbed, according to the 2021 Africa Risk Reward Index published this week by Control Risks and Oxford Economics Africa.

Developing capacity in Africa would likely make vaccines cheaper due to reduced import tariffs, taxes and transport costs, the report says. “The longevity of the Covid-19 crisis will sustain momentum in the health-tech and biotech sectors, but the benefits of the solutions developed will persist for much longer.”