Africa: Seychelles Joins Treaty to Help African Nations Procure Affordable, Quality Medicine

Seychelles has signed the Africa Medicine Agency Treaty which helps African nations ensure safe and affordable access to quality medical products, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

The treaty was signed by Seychelles' Vice President Vincent Meriton on the sidelines of the 33rd ordinary session of the African Union Assembly taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"Small Island Developing States such as Seychelles often pay a premium for the procurement of essential medical supplies. The smallness of our market and our geographic isolation mean that we are often an afterthought in the business of medicines procurement," Meriton said at the signing ceremony.

The treaty for the establishment of the African Medicine Agency was adopted during the African Union ordinary session of the Assembly in February last year. The treaty once ratified by 15 member states of the African Union will execute its role as the regulatory body that ensures harmony and strong regulatory systems that oversee supervision and regulations of medicines and medical products in Africa.

Meriton said that "being the 13th Member to sign this Treaty, Seychelles takes this opportunity to call on other African nations to come forward and give the support needed to operationalize this much awaited and long overdue endeavour."

During the weekend, Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, acceded to and became the 40th member of the African Peer Review Mechanism.

The document was signed by Meriton at the opening session of the 29th African Peer Review Forum of heads of state and government on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Seychelles' accession to the African Peer Review Mechanism was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers last year as part of the government's continued efforts and commitments to promote good governance, transparency and accountability in the country.

After the signing, Meriton emphasised that the political maturity of Seychelles is reflected through the commitment of President Danny Faure to ensuring the establishment of credible and trustworthy institutions built on principles of transparency and accountability for shared prosperity.

"The existing cohabitation between the governing party and the opposition with the majority in the National Assembly depicts the determination of the Government and the people of Seychelles to work towards a shared vision through engagement and dialogue," he said.

The country now has the task of setting up the necessary national structures namely the appointment of the National Focal Point as well as the establishment of the National Governing Commission and the National Secretariat.

The African Peer Review Mechanism, established in 2003, is an instrument voluntarily acceded to by member states of the African Union as a mutually agreed African self-monitoring mechanism.

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