Export markets could drive growth of Kenya’s pharmaceutical industry

World Bank
World Bank

Export markets could drive the growth of Kenya’s pharmaceutical industry, says a report released on Wednesday by the International Finance Corporation, a private sector arm of the World Bank.

According to the Pharmaceutical Sector Diagnostic Report, 2020, the potential target market for local exports of pharmaceutical products include the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community, and the rest of Africa, where the total market is valued at 1.49 trillion shillings (13.6 billion U.S. dollars).

“Kenya is currently only able to export an average of 63 million dollars worth of products to these regional markets. A five percent increase in Kenya’s share of this total African market would translate to exports worth 678 million dollars,” says the report.

The survey indicates that Kenya has competitive incentives for the pharmaceutical sector and a very good rating on the Ease of Doing Business index.

The findings show that Kenyan manufacturers sell less of their products locally and export more than companies in other countries.

The analysis indicates that although workforce costs in Kenya are lower, local firms due to lack of capacity rely on expatriates, which results in increased workforce expenses.

Rashid Aman, chief administrative secretary, ministry of health said that the launch of the report comes at an opportune time when there are serious global disruptions in the supply chain of essential health products and technologies as a result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aman noted that for Kenya to be able to achieve sustainability in accessing essential health products and technologies by her citizens, it requires to strengthen the local pharmaceutical manufacturing. Enditem

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