Rwanda signs agreement to host African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation

Rwanda signs agreement to host African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation

Rwanda has on December 18 signed agreement wit African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation to host to pave the way for the foundation’s operationalization in Kigali, to jointly build Africa’s efforts for resilient and self-reliant pharmaceutical industry for the continent and advance significantly the today’s African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.

The Foundation also signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Investment Bank to
further strengthen cooperation. The African Development Bank Group’s Board of Directors approved the setting up of the African
Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation as an independent body in June 2022.
The Foundation’s work—which has significant technical and financial support globally and within
Africa—will be central to Africa’s pharmaceutical sector. It is the first of its kind to foster collaboration
between the public and private sectors in Africa, North America, Europe and the rest of the developing

The Rwandan government has played a pivotal role in anchoring the Foundation and granting it the
status of an international agency. At the host country agreement signing ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda’s
Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Vincent Biruta, said it was important to
close the vaccine equity gap between African countries and the world’s developed nations.
“To close the gap, we must continue investing in pharmaceutical production in Africa and other
developing countries,” Biruta said. He added: “Technology and knowledge transfer are central. The
new African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will help Africa gain rapid access to the latest
pharmaceutical breakthroughs.”

Biruta signed the host country agreement for the Rwandan government, while Professor Padmashree
Gehl Sampath, interim Chief Executive Officer of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation,
signed for the Foundation.

African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina said the establishment of the
Foundation was a pledge that Africa will have what it needs to build its own health defense system,
which must include a thriving African pharmaceutical industry, and a quality healthcare infrastructure.
“Technology is the main transformative tool that will enable the development of a competitive
pharmaceutical industry that Africa will need to secure the health and wellbeing of all her people,”
Adesina stressed. He added: “The African Development Bank is committed to investing up to $3 billion
over the next decade in the development of pharmaceutical products as part of our efforts to
industrialize Africa and lessen the continent’s reliance on imports.”

Professor Sampath, said: “Building Africa’s pharmaceutical sector to serve the continent is an idea whose time
has come. The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation has a clear agenda and vision and is
ready to hit the ground running in January 2024. It is important that we now increase the maturity of
Africa’s pharmaceutical industry by supporting the development of local production and innovation capabilities. This will require strong partnerships between local and international pharmaceutical
companies and research institutions.”

Germany has been a great supporter of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, in
keeping with its strong commitment to local production in the region. Dr Bärbel Kofler, Parliamentary
State Secretary in Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and
African Development Bank Group Governor, said: “For Germany it is a great privilege to serve on the
Board of Directors of this important institution. My government is committed to supporting the African
Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation through a strong partnership based on shared values and
aspirations for a healthier and safer Africa.”

Global partners—including the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization—have
applauded the creation of the Foundation. World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros
Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “The World Health Organization is proud to support the African
Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation and its mission to increase access to safe and effective
medicines for Africa. Health is not a privilege. It’s a human right, which is integral to development and

World Trade Organization Director General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “I leave you with a firm
pledge of our support for the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, which has enormous
potential to transform the pharmaceutical industry in Africa and contribute to health equity across the
continent. Let’s work together to make the Foundation an inspiring African success story.”
The Foundation’s work has received a major boost with a memorandum of understanding signed
between the Foundation and the European Investment Bank. The memorandum of understanding
between the two organizations will mobilize new financing instruments to overcome market failures
and mobilize pharmaceutical investments across Africa. Both organizations will use their convening
power to crowd in more multilateral public and private financing into pharmaceutical production in

The European Investment Bank will be a partner in the Foundation’s regional biosimilars program for
the production and innovation of relevant biosimilars in Africa and to facilitate the creation of common
active pharmaceutical ingredients parks in any chosen specific sub-region of Africa.
Gelsomina Vigliotti, Vice President at the European Investment Bank, said: “The European Investment
Bank is committed to working with our partners to strengthen public health and health innovation
across Africa, and around the world. We are pleased to support the visionary African Pharmaceutical
Technology Foundation. Strengthening access to finance is essential to scale up pharmaceutical
investment and innovation across Africa.”

Elie Mutangana

Elie Mutangana

Elie Mutangana is a Rwandan journalist covering various topics including Politics, Social affairs and Business.

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