African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has said that African countries should develop manufacturing capabilities in pharmaceuticals and reduce the level of import of equipment and medicines in order to conserve foreign exchange. Afreximbank’s Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate Banking, Amr Kamel, stated that the Bank was committed to supporting the development of Africa’s pharmaceutical industry.

“Afreximbank is determined to continue implementing its health and medical tourism programme to help pave the way for investors and partners to develop the pharmaceutical industry in Africa,” said Mr. Kamel.

“This situation draws the continent away from its aspiration to guarantee high standard of living, quality of life and well -being of the citizens of Africa as envisaged by Africa’s Agenda 2063. In this regard, the Africa Union Commission seeks to advance the implementation of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa, building on continental trade initiatives, such as, the Continental Free Trade Agreement, recently endorsed by African Heads of States and Government.”

Also speaking, Malinne Blomberg, Manager, AfDB Egypt Country Office, said, “The African Development Bank finds that this consultation is unique as it brings together the three African organizations to have synergy in this strategically important area that will improve the quality of life for the people of Africa as well as create jobs which, collectively, will contribute to increasing economic growth on the continent”.

They were speaking at a consultation being held to discuss steps towards the creation of a fund to support pharmaceutical manufacturing in Africa. It is being attended by key stakeholders who are brainstorming and defining the type of fund, scope of work, legal and institutional modalities for setting up a mechanism for raising and channeling financial resources to the development of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Africa.

The consultation process is part of a comprehensive approach to the establishment of an African Pharmaceutical Development Fund capable of mobilising resources from the public and private sectors.