Niamey (Niger) — At the initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), through its sub regional office for West Africa (SRO-WA), in partnership with Afreximbank, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa, a High-Level Stakeholder Webinar on Africa Medical Sales Platform (AMSP) was organized on Tuesday.
This meeting which took place on the side-lines of the third Meeting of the ECOWAS COVID-19 Ministerial Coordinating Committee (MCC) on Health was organized in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States Commission (ECOWAS) and the West African Health Organization (WAHO).
The High-Level Stakeholders Webinar showcased to the Ministers of Health and Finance of ECOWAS Member States the opportunities offered by AMSP, as well as how it is structured. The meeting provided the necessary insights about the platform that would enable ECOWAS member States' Governments, Private Sector operators and other stakeholders to access and leverage the benefits of the platform, particularly considering the unrelenting spread of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent and its impacts on both human lives and sources of livelihood.
During his introductive speech, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, M. Jean Claude Kassi Brou said that the AMSP is "a very good development and will complement the earlier decision we took in ECOWAS to patronize local manufacturers in the sourcing and procurement of medical material needed for the COVDI19 pandemic response".
" Involving AMSP in this MCC meeting is therefore timely and forward looking", he added.
The Minister of Health of Ghana, President of ECOWAS Assembly Ministers of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said: "The AMSP is therefore a great interest given the pharmaceutical initiative dimensions that promote access to safe and affordable quality medicines in Africa through pooled procurement as well as local production".
Thus, the President of ECOWAS Assembly Ministers of Health encouraged his counterparts to "explore the opportunities AMSP is intended to create and take advantage of these opportunities in the interest of the economy of the region and the economy of individual countries"
Taking the floor on behalf of Dr Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the ECA, the Director of the sub regional Office for West Africa of ECA, Ngone Diop explained that "To fully harness the opportunity of AMSP and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiatives, it is crucial that the member states ratify the African medicine agency treaty (AMA) to effectively regulate and harmonize medical products so that the continent can mitigate standards medicine circulating in the region and preserve life".
"We all have to do our best to actually harness the many potentials of this platform and CEA working with ECOWAS will provide the needed supports to our member states to respond to the COVID19 and to use this very innovative platform", concluded Ngone Diop.
For more information, please contact: Tahirou Gouro, Communications Officer, ECA-SRO/WA,
Sub-Regional Office for West Africa
428 Avenue du Fleuve Niger