The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation Receives $12million To Operationalize And Recruit Pharma Expertise

The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will begin its operations in earnest after the African Development Fund provided a grant.
African Pharmaceutical Technology
Image Credit: African Development Bank

The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation has received a massive boost of $12 million to kickstart its mission to enhance access to and the use of technologies in Africa’s pharmaceutical sector.1

The majority of the funds were courtesy of the Board of Directors of the African Development Fund, which approved a $11.96 million grant to the Foundation, while a further $1.93 million was provided by the Rwandan government.

This is monumental.

Africa has historically struggled to compete with its European and Asian counterparts in matters of
pharmaceutical research, innovation, and medical product production. This has meant that the continent has lagged behind when other parts of the world have enjoyed access to newer, more effective medical products and technologies.

For a region that bears a disproportionate burden of major killer diseases, this doesn’t augur well.2

So, in steps the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF).

As the brainchild of the African Development Bank, APTF, which operates as an independent agency, works with African companies, research institutions, and other stakeholders to build their capacities through enhancing access to technologies needed to discover, develop, and manufacture health products.3

Established in June 2022 and with its headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda, the impact of the foundation is expected to be transformative for the sector.4

RELATED: The 3As That Will Drive Africa’s Pharmaceutical Agenda (2024) – African Pharmaceutical Review

What was said

Aissa Touré Sarr, the country manager of the African Development Bank in Rwanda, expressed optimism about the impact of the Foundation on healthcare on the continent:

“The project should produce considerable benefits (outputs and outcomes) throughout Africa.” “The leading-edge research and technological innovations of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation 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.”

What’s next

This initial cash injection is intended to operationalize the Kigali offices through the purchase of furniture and equipment. The funds are also expected to aid in hiring and contracting experts and technical companies, respectively, with the aim of providing health and pharmaceutical service support.1

It is expected that operations will kick off in earnest with the various programs they have in place.

Some of the activities include capacity building for manufacturers on WHO Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), raising awareness, and facilitating knowledge sharing.

Working together with the African Medicines Agency, it will support regulatory harmonization in the East African Community.

The overall goal is to ensure the region has access to innovative, quality, safe, and effective medical products.

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1.         Bank AD. Rwanda: the African Development Fund commits $12 million to the rapid operationalization of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF). African Development Bank Group. Published March 4, 2024. Accessed March 5, 2024.

2.         Disease Burden and Mortality | SpringerLink. Accessed March 5, 2024.

3.         The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation. Accessed January 31, 2024.

4.         Rwanda to Host New African Pharmaceutical Foundation Headquarters – Accessed March 5, 2024.

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