MIL-OSI Africa: Rwanda: The African Development Fund commits $12 million to the rapid operationalization of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF)

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Source: Africa Press Organisation – English (2) – Report:

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, March 4, 2024/APO Group/ —

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund approved, in Abidjan on 27 February 2024, $11.96 million Grant to speed up the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda.

The financial support from the African Development Bank Group’s Regional Public Good window, together with a contribution of $1.93 million from the Rwandan government, is intended to implement the Regional Pharmaceutical Sector Support Project in Rwanda.

“The project should produce considerable benefits (outputs and outcomes) throughout Africa,” stated Aissa Touré Sarr, head of the African Development Bank’s Rwanda country office. “The leading-edge research and technological innovations of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (https://apo-opa.co/49DqOxy) should improve health care outcomes by providing access to advanced medicines and treatments, tackling prevalent diseases and contributing to the continent’s overall health resilience.”

The support from the African Development Fund should help improve access to advanced pharmaceutical technologies and strengthen the regulatory framework of the pharmaceutical industry in Africa.

The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, whose creation was approved in June 2022 by the African Development Bank Board of Directors, signed a host country agreement in December 2023, with the government of Rwanda, where it is based.

Given the difficulties that African countries face in accessing technology to manufacture medicines and vaccines in their own countries, this foundation will act as a transparent intermediary that promote and negotiate with pharmaceutical multinationals and other countries in the South on sharing technology, know-how, and patents protected by intellectual property rights. 

The foundation will build the capacity of African pharmaceuticals so that they commit to increasing local production as part of a systematic approach to learning new technologies and bringing production plants up to standard technologically. It will strengthen human and professional competences in the sector and in the R&D ecosystem, as well as in pharmaceutical and vaccine innovation to develop the skills needed for a thriving sector on the continent.

The African Development Fund grant will be used to purchase office equipment — furniture, hardware and software — and to enable the Foundation, to which the Rwandan government granted the status of an international agency, to recruit experts and relevant specialized technical firms to provide a range of specialist health and pharmaceutical services. In addition to administrative and human resources, some experts will be responsible for establishing financial and contract award systems.  

The project will also support information and awareness raising, consultancy services, training manufacturers in good manufacturing processes, and study trips for tacit knowledge transfer. It will also improve the quality and safety of pharmaceutical products, accelerate the implementation of a regional mutual recognition system, in line with harmonizing the regulations on medicine in the East African Community. It will therefore support several activities, including joint evaluations of medical product documentation, joint inspections of good manufacturing practices, signal detection and investigations of medical products, as well as post-marketing surveillance activities of antibiotics.

The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will collaborate closely with the African Union Medicines Agency, Africa CDC, the European Union, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the Medicines Patent Pool, philanthropic organizations and bilateral and multilateral agencies and institutions.

The first institution of its kind to collaborate with the public and private sectors in Africa, North America, Europe and the rest of the developing world, the foundation has agreed a memorandum of understanding with the European Investment Bank. In addition, it receives substantial support from Germany.

MIL OSI Africa