The Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy has called on government to facilitate access to affordable investment capital by subsidising interest payment and granting tax breaks for players in the pharmaceutical industry.
Mr Harrison Kofi Abutiate, the Chairman of the Chamber, said government could also intervene to use export credit guarantees to underwrite and guarantee credit access for export activities for stakeholders in the industry.
Mr Abutiate was speaking at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy and the Dawa City Limited for the development of a pharmaceutical enclave within the Dawa Industrial Zone.
The pharmaceutical enclave will provide a dedicated space of up to 150 acres land for pharmaceutical companies to establish large scale operations.
Dawa Industrial Zone is Ghana’s ultramodern location for all types of industries, where it have allocated an initial 150-acre for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing with a cumulative investment volume of $321 million.
He said the Chamber was to ensure that Ghana became the pharmaceutical hub in West Africa and it was a model, which encompasses the establishment of a pharmaceutical enclave in collaboration with the State and non-State actors, donors and other stakeholders.
He said it would also encompass setting up bioequivalence/laboratory testing services and the establishment of an Active Pharmaceutical ingredients plant in the country.
“It will also have industry incubation centres that will enhance technology transfer, skills upgrade (technical and business development) as well product development for the local industry,” he added.
Mr Abutiate said it would be difficult to achieve the above without the existence of a Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy that would ensure industrial growth and increased investment.
The Chairman commended the Ministry of Trade and Industry and donors for putting in place concrete steps to ensure that Ghana’s Pharmaceutical Sector Development Strategy was developed for Cabinet approval.
Mr Abutiate said companies in the enclave would produce a diverse range of formulations and dosage forms based on their investment decisions.
He said a leading international development finance institution has indicated an interest in the Pharma enclave but would prefer a direct financial arrangement with the Dawa Industrial Zone than individual companies.
He said relevant government agencies like the Food and Drugs Authority, the Ghana Standard Authority, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Ghana Revenue Authority would need to set up offices at the Pharma enclave to facilitate the one stop shop policy of the Chamber.
“In addition, support services companies such as packaging and logistics will be facilitated to establish themselves at the enclave,” he added.
Mr Kojo Botsio Aduhene, the Group Chief Executive Officer of LMI Holdings, a Ghanaian conglomerate with interest in construction, said the agreement was a significant milestone in the quest to position the pharmaceutical sector as a strong force in the sub-region.
He commended the leadership of the Chamber for helping to champion the initiative and facilitating the actualisation of the vision.
The 2000-acre Dawa Industrial Zone is a multi-purpose industrial park, which has been demarcated to suit specialised industry groupings including pharmaceutical, automotive, manufacturing and assembling, steel fabrication, food processing and warehousing.