Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Tunisia and Algeria fail to host the headquarters of the African Medicines Agency

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, July 19th 2022 à 14:50 | Read 452 times

The African Medicines Agency aims to strengthen the capacity of African countries signatories in the field of medicine (photo: AUDA-NEPAD)
The African Medicines Agency aims to strengthen the capacity of African countries signatories in the field of medicine (photo: AUDA-NEPAD)
AFRICA. The Executive Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the African Union (AU) on Friday 16 July 2022 in Lusaka (Zambia), on the recommendation of the Conference of States Parties to the African Medicines Agency (AMA) Treaty, awarded the permanent headquarters of this new institution to Rwanda.

This decision is in line with the findings of a report by a commission of African experts set up by the AU Commission, which visited the eight candidate countries* to make assessments. Four Mediterraneans (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia) participated in the race. Rwanda won by a wide margin with 82% of the votes, against Algeria (2nd) and Tunisia (3rd) which were also presented as favourites.

The African Medicines Agency is a coordinating body modelled on the European Medicines Agency (EMA). It was established on 11 February 2019 at the 32nd Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union and came into force in November 2021.

Africa imports 80% of its medicines

Today, the WADA brings together some 30 countries and aims to pool the resources and expertise of its members, regulate pharmaceutical products and stimulate African integration in order to produce medicines that meet the needs of African populations. It aims to provide a concrete response to the problems in this area by strengthening the capacities of African signatory states and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the regulation of medical products. This is to facilitate access to quality, safe and effective medical products on the continent.

Today, Africa imports 99% of its vaccines and 80% of its medicines. It accounts for less than 3% of the global pharmaceutical market with only 375 registered drug manufacturers, mainly in South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. These four countries alone account for 70% of the continent's production.

In April 2022, a study by Goldstein Market Intelligence estimated the value of the African pharmaceutical industry at $28.56bn (€26.38bn) in 2017. Its analysis predicted a market of between $56-70bn (€51.7-64.5bn) by 2030.

* Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Uganda, Tanzania, Tunisia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe

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