UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Local manufacturing for health in Africa in the time of COVID-19

17 March 2021

A new webinar report co-authored by Dr Julius Mugwagwa highlights the importance of industrial development to local and global health security in Africa.

Manufacturing team

In Africa and across the globe, the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of manufacturing supply chains. It has forced a global recognition of the centrality of local manufacturing supply chains to local health security, particularly in relation to essential commodities for healthcare.

On 28 October 2020, a closed-door webinar, co-facilitated by Dr Julius Mugwagwa, Associate Professor of Innovation and Development in UCL STEaPP, brought together African manufacturers in health-related industries with engaged academics in India and Africa, and other professionals working on regulation, distribution and industrial support in African countries. The aims were to capture the immediate experience of manufacturing under Covid-19 conditions in Africa and India, and to also draw lessons for policy.

The subsequent report, Local manufacturing for health in Africa in the time of Covid‑19: experience and lessons for policy, summarises the key findings from that event, with the central argument being that broad-based industrial development is critical for both global and local health security in Africa, and will be the post-Covid-19 medium-term challenge.

The webinar was hosted by the Overseas Development Institute and enabled the authors to convene key stakeholders from across the relevant sectors. The report was authored by Geoffrey Banda, Dinar Kale, Maureen Mackintosh and Julius Mugwagwa, with the research facilitated by the FCDO-ESRC through the Development and Economic Growth Research Programme (DEGRP).

To access the full report, visit the Development and Economic Growth Research Programme website.


  • Development and Economic Growth Research Programme