Launch of the inaugural Africa Pharma Conference

The speakers after the first session with the AUDA-NEPAD CEO, Ibrahim Mayaki (center) in Johannesburg, June 4, 2019
7 June 2019
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press release

Johannesburg, South Africa, June 7, 2019 – Africa’s pharmaceutical market is one of the fastest growing in the world and is predicted to reach $60 billion by 2020. Local production therefore has immense potential to foster industrial and economic growth on the continent, while simultaneously enabling a localised and sustainable response to Africa’s health needs.

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, African Union Commission (AUC) and DFS Africa with the support of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA), hosted the inaugural Africa Pharma Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Conference took place from 4-5 June 2019 and drew 195 participants from Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States.

Conference delegates included representatives from the private sector, government, academia, civil society, media, regional economic communities and health organizations, UN agencies, AU technical institutions and organs and development partners. Presentations, panel sessions and discussions held during the Conference explored progress made, and challenges faced, by African countries in promoting local pharmaceutical production in the context of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA).

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, opened the meeting and declared that, "The potential of the continent’s pharmaceutical industry, one of the fastest growing in the world is projected to hit about US$60 Billion by the end of 2020. It is our responsibility to establish clear priorities for specific, coordinated and effective action that will ensure that every African benefits from this growth, and has their need to quality-assured medicine."

A key challenge facing the continent in responding to its extensive and shifting health needs is its reliance on imported medicines. This dependence poses significant risks to the security and sustainability of supply and the ability of African governments to ensure availability and affordability of needed health technologies. The dependency on imported medicines also contributes to country-level trade deficits and uses up precious hard currency.

During the conference, participants deliberated on progress achieved related to local pharmaceutical production following the 2005 Abuja Summit, challenges faced by African pharmaceutical industries, and opportunities to catalyse local production to improve medicine and health technology access and security on the continent.

Furthermore, the inclusion during the conference of the Deal Room - platform where prequalified transactions meet with prequalified investors - provided opportunities for pre-qualified businesses and projects owners to meet with Africa focused institutional investors looking to invest in Pharma and Access to Medicines. The Africa Pharma conference also hosted 20 African Pharma companies seeking over $1.3 Billion worth of transactions in the Deal Room.

NEPAD Agency is the technical body of the African Union. The core mandate of the NEPAD Agency is to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of regional and continental priority programmes and projects and to push for partnerships, resource mobilisation, research and knowledge management. Through NEPAD African countries are provided unique opportunities to take full control of their development agenda, to work more closely together, and to cooperate more effectively with international partners.

About The African Commission
The vision of the African Union is that of: “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamicforce in global arena.” The Commission is the key organ playing a central role in the day-to-day management of the African Union. Among others, it represents the Union and defends its interests; elaborates draft common positions of the Union; prepares strategic plans and studies for the consideration of the Executive Council; elaborates, promotes, coordinates and harmonizes the programmes and policies of the Union with those of the RECs; ensures the mainstreaming of gender in all programmes and activities of the Union.

About DFS Africa
DFS Africa is a platform dedicated to growing foreign and local investments in Africa’s industry and markets. We help organizations and public authorities structure bankable projects and businesses that are able to attract the necessary growth capital or finance for greenfield projects. Our platform is unique in the sense that it creates an avenue for Public Authorities, Policy makers, Project Sponsors, Investors, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and private Financial Institutions to discuss best practices and the most efficient ways to scale businesses, structure projects and finance capital projects across Africa. Our events offer the opportunity for investors and investees to 'cut through the clutter' in finding relevant and strategic partners to work with.

Press contacts

African Union Development Agency-NEPAD
Mwanja Ng’anjo| |+27 11 256 3582
Millicent Seganoe | | + 27 83 266 1829

35°Nord, Press relations agency
Aunel Loumba | | +33 6 98 79 61 15

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