SIFEM - Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets


At present, only about one per cent of vaccines which are desperately needed in Africa are manufactured on the continent. For this reason, a financing package totalling EUR 600 million has been mobilised with the aim to boost vaccine production in Africa. The investors are the World Bank’s IFC, Proparco (France), DFC (USA), and DEG (Germany). The latter also arranged funding from the existing European Financing Partners (EFP) COVID-19 financing initiative, which will contribute EUR 22 million.

Through this EFP initiative, SIFEM has joined forces with sister development finance institutions (DFIs) to support the South African pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited. The other DFIs which are involved in this funding by EFP include BIO (Belgium), Finnfund (Finland), FMO (Netherlands), IFU (Denmark), Norfund (Norway), OeEB (Austria) and Swedfund (Sweden). 

Headquartered in Durban, South Africa, Aspen is active across more than 50 countries worldwide and is operating 23 manufacturing facilities across 15 sites. The group employs approximately 9,000 staff. Aspen has invested in a fully certified sterile injectables facility at its existing site at Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth) to produce its anaesthetics portfolio and other sterile medicines, including vaccines.

Africa has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the world. SIFEM is therefore pleased to contribute to the stepping up of vaccine production in Africa as part of this international initiative but would also like to stress the need for more private investment in the African pharmaceutical sector at this critical juncture. 

Contact: Simon Denoth, SIFEM Head of Public Affairs,, +41 31 310 09 38

European Financing Partners (EFP) – COVID-19 Window