The World Health Organization has said it is setting up a hub in South Africa to give companies from poor and middle-income countries the know-how and licences to produce COVID-19 vaccines, in what President Cyril Ramaphosa called an historic step to spread lifesaving technology. In terms of the deal, South Africa’s Biovac Institute, which has a partnership with France, has partnered with Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, a network of universities, and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to establish Africa’s first Covid messenger RNA vaccine technology transfer hub. The arrangement, the WHO said, could make it possible for African companies to begin manufacturing mRNA vaccines in as little as nine to 12 months.