Dar es Salaam — Investors have been urged to tap into opportunities in the health sector.
Tanzania has 14 pharmaceutical companies.
Since they are inadequate, the country sources 94 per cent of supplies externally.
On April 4, ministers Ummy Mwalimu (of Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and Elderly Ummy Mwalimu) and Charles Mwijage (of Industry, Trade and Investment) brought together stakeholders across the country.
"We need to have vibrant local pharmaceutical industries so that Tanzania can get all medical supplies domestically," said Ms Mwalimu.
Medical Stores Department director general Laurean Bwanakunu said apart from creating jobs and speeding up economic growth, the industries would enable the government to get medical supplies locally.
The Ministry of Health says although more than Sh1 trillion is spent annually on health-related expenses, less than 10 per cent of that amount is spent on local industries.
About 40 investors showed their interest in investing in pharmaceutical factories, with many expected to start construction in the next six months.
Among the investors were the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, His Highness the Aga Khan, who would set up a Sh45 billion pharmaceutical plant.
Mpendae MP Salim Hassan Turky is ready to install a Sh162 billion factory.
Other investors include Biotech Limited, Novabi Limited, Zinga Pharmaceutical, Guilin Pharmaceutical, Simiyu Project Bahari Pharmacy Africables, Hester Pharmaceutical and Kairuki Pharmaceutical Industry, Revital Healthcare, Pharco Ltd, Mohammed Enterprises, Suma JKT, Subhash Patel, Cure Afya Pharmaceutical and Emedics Pharmaceutical.
Tanzania Investment Centre executive director Geoffrey Mwambe said supports investors.