Agreement to accelerate the local production of medicines in Africa

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Agreement to accelerate the local production of medicines in Africa

31 March 2014

UN leaders and the African Union agreed at a meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 30 March to join together to respond to the challenges that the pharmaceutical industry in Africa is facing in strengthening the local production of essential medicines and moving the continent towards sustainability of treatment programmes for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Seventh Joint African Union Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and the UNECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Africa is highly dependent on foreign medicines, with 70% of them being imported; local production of quality medicines is therefore imperative to guaranteeing life-saving treatment in Africa. Local production will result in many benefits, including better quality assurance, shorter supply chains and fewer stock-outs.

Since one of the major challenges for the pharmaceutical industry in Africa is the establishment of an African regulatory agency, the participants agreed that their next meeting will focus on that issue.


“Access to affordable and quality medicines is critical to achieving our shared goal of ending AIDS, ending extreme poverty and reducing the burden of other diseases. Solidarity on global health is essential and imperative. It is value for money. It saves lives.”

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

“I really believe we should work together if we want to see a sustainable pharmaceutical industry developed in Africa.”

LI Yong, UNIDO Director General

“We are on the right path. I am impressed by the work of the regional economic communities and the UN agencies.”

Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Health of Nigeria

“We should take into account what the regional economic commissions have achieved, and build on it.”

Erastus Mwencha, African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson

“We must develop a business case if we want to convince African banks to invest in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Carlos Lopes, UNECA Executive Secretary

“We are the strongest advocate for the implementation of the business plan of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa.”

Paul Lartey, Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations