AfDB unveils the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation
The African Development Bank Group has formally introduced
its new initiative that will join hands with the African Union to boost
Africa's capacity to produce drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics all
along the value chain, to help build its pharmaceutical sector.
The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF) was
the focus of a forum hosted by the African Development Bank under the theme:
“Technology Access for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: The African Pharmaceutical
Technology Foundation.” The event was part of the 2nd International Conference
on Public Health in Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, on 14 December.
According to the African Development Bank, the continent
imports more than 70% of the medicines it needs at the cost of $14 billion
annually. Changing the game to enable African countries develop their capacity
to manufacture pharmaceutical products has public health, strategic and
“This new initiative
comes as a solution, since most [African] countries still face challenges in
receiving [medicines] on time," Dr. Yvan Butera, Rwandan Minister of State
for Health, commented. The Foundation, hosted by the Government of Rwanda in
Kigali, is expected to commence operations in early 2023.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Solomon Quaynor, Vice-President
for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation at the African
Development Bank Group, said Covid-19 had exposed the gaps in Africa’s health
Presenting the APTF at the event, Prof. Padmashree Gehl
Sampath, Special Adviser on pharmaceuticals and health infrastructure to Dr.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, stressed
that the Foundation was designed to help African countries bridge the
technology gaps in sustainable domestic manufacturing.
The co-chair of the International Negotiating Body of the
World Health Organization (WHO) on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and
Response, Dr. Precious Matsoso, reflected on how important technology issues
are for future pandemic preparation. She said establishing the African
Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation “would provide the much-needed support to
address technology barriers for equitable access.”
The Foundation, approved by the African Development Bank’s
Board of Directors in June 2022, is expected to boost Africa’s access to
technology for manufacturing the full range of pharmaceutical products,
focusing on building supply chains and expanding access to building block
technologies of various kinds.
The Foundation will also serve as a transparent
intermediator advancing and brokering the interests of the African pharmaceutical
sector on the global stage, to enhance access to proprietary technologies,
know-how, and related industrial processes, through licensing and other
market-based and non-market mechanisms.