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Rwanda signs a deal for African Pharmaceutical body


Rwanda on Monday signed a host agreement for the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, a pan-African body set to build the ecosystem needed to revamp the local pharmaceutical sector in Africa.

The signing ceremony between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs took place in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali.

The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation was set up by the AfDB in June 2022, as an independent body to address long-standing technology gap in the continent’s pharmaceutical sector through promoting technology access and transfer. Speaking at the event, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said there is a need for collective efforts to level the playing field for Africa’s pharma companies and build globally competitive pharmaceutical industries out of Africa.

Vincent Biruta, the Rwandan minister of foreign affairs, said the foundation is out of the collective commitment to leverage science and technology for the greater good, creating an ecosystem that fosters research, development, and equitable sharing of knowledge.

Africa imports 70 percent of its medicines and produces only 1 percent of its vaccines, according to AfDB data. “Africa must produce its own medicines and vaccines. However, success will depend on building local pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity and assuring technology transfer and access to intellectual property rights, protected technologies, and manufacturing processes and systems,” Adesina said.

“Equally important is the need to build the pharmaceutical and biomedical research and development ecosystems that can support world-class local pharmaceutical industries,” he said.

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