The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, a brand-new ground-breaking organization that will significantly improve Africa’s access to the technologies that support the production of drugs, vaccines, and other pharmaceutical products, has received approval from the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank.
“This is a fantastic development for Africa,” stated Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group. Africa has to strengthen its pharmaceutical sector, increase its capacity to produce vaccines, and develop a high-quality healthcare infrastructure. Together, these three areas will make up its health defense system.
The decision is a huge boost to the continent’s health prospects because it has very little capacity to generate its own medicines and vaccines and has been plagued for decades by a number of diseases and pandemics including COVID19. More than 70% of all the medications that Africa needs are imported, costing the continent $14 billion annually.
African pharmaceutical firms lack the scouting, negotiating, and bandwidth necessary to interact with multinational pharmaceutical firms.
This critical and obvious gap will be filled by the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.
Once fully operational, it will be staffed with top-tier experts in the fields of pharmaceutical innovation and development, intellectual property rights, and health policy. It will serve as a transparent middleman, advancing and negotiating on behalf of the African pharmaceutical industry with international and other Southern pharmaceutical companies to share IP-protected technologies, know-how, and patented processes.
The African Development Bank’s choice to create the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation has been praised by both the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization.
The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation represents innovative thinking and action by the African Development Bank, according to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization. It offers a portion of the infrastructure required to guarantee the development of an African pharmaceutical sector.
The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will give priority to innovations in processes, products, and technologies that are primarily targeted at pandemics and other diseases with a high prevalence in Africa.
Additionally, it will support the improvement of manufacturing plant capacity and regulatory quality to meet World Health Organization requirements, as well as the environment for research and development.
The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will operate autonomously and raise financing from a variety of stakeholders, including governments, development finance institutions, philanthropic groups, and others. It is being founded under the aegis of the African Development Bank.
Under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan, the African Development Bank will increase its pledge to spend at least $3 billion over the next ten years to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing industry.
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