Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, has said that the “African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology” initiative, launched by the African Development Bank (AfDB), will have a pivotal and important role in supporting African companies operating in the field of pharmaceutical industries, which require highly efficient technological infrastructure, and strengthening the capabilities of African countries’ healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
This came during the high-level event that discussed the joint initiative between the African Union and the African Development Bank to launch the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF), to introduce the role and importance of the institution and its comprehensive approach to enhancing Africa’s capacity to produce medicines and vaccines, within the framework of preparations for the launch of the annual meetings of the African Development Bank, in Sharm El-Sheikh, during the period from 22 to 26 May 2023, on “Mobilizing Private Sector Finance for Climate and Green Growth in Africa”.
Al-Mashat welcomed Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, to Sharm El-Sheikh, the city of peace, during the annual meetings of the African Development Bank, explaining that the meetings take place at a vital time when the world and the African continent in particular are witnessing Multiple challenges affecting all aspects of development.
The Minister affirmed Egypt’s support for the partnerships and initiatives launched by the African Development Bank to stimulate innovation and develop efforts in health care and the pharmaceutical industry, pointing out that South-South and triangular cooperation are among the important axes that promote the creation of comprehensive partnerships to support the capabilities of different countries to develop their capabilities in the field of health, in order to support the achievement of the African Development Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
“In this context, it is important to highlight the progress achieved in some countries in this field, including Egypt, in light of the importance of this promising industry as one of the industries that must be localized in order to achieve health security in the continent and develop health care systems, and making services available to all,” she added.
The Minister referred to the report issued by McKinsey Company in 2015, which confirmed that the pharmaceutical market in Africa is the only one that is still able to achieve high growth, with the support of 3 main axes: urbanization and infrastructure development for African cities, and the development of health care capabilities through various initiatives in the countries of the continent, and thirdly, the business environment, as many countries sought to create a more supportive environment for business to localize the pharmaceutical industry, and expand the scope of mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures that enhance the pharmaceutical market in the continent.
The Minister of International Cooperation moved on to talk about the pharmaceutical market in Egypt, saying that the volume of the pharmaceutical market in Egypt records about $3bn and is expected to achieve a large annual growth rate during the coming period, referring to government efforts and measures taken by the state to restructure the pharmaceutical industry in Egypt.
She explained that Egypt was one of the countries that succeeded in addressing the Coronavirus pandemic, according to the report of the World Health Organization, as Egypt worked to increase the percentage of investment in scientific research, which strengthened efforts to confront the pandemic, in addition to expanding presidential initiatives in the health sector such as 100 million health and launch a decent life initiative, in which the health sector is one of the main axes for its implementation, equality between citizens and refugees in their access to health services, and the localization of the pharmaceutical and vaccine industry to serve neighbouring countries.
Al-Mashat reviewed the successful presidential initiatives to develop comprehensive health care services, including the 100 million health initiative, as well as the hepatitis C eradication initiative.
She emphasized the government’s endeavour, over recent years, to localize the pharmaceutical industry by attracting foreign investments and establishing investment projects with the aim of localizing the industry. In April 2021, the “Pharma City” was launched on an area of 180,000 square meters with a production capacity of 150 million packages annually, in light of the country’s vision to transform into a regional centre for the pharmaceutical industry.