Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Zambia Prioritizes Private Sector Partnerships to Revamp Pharmaceutical Industry

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Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo has said the need to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) and other forms of private sector partnerships have been identified as key to Zambia’s ambition of revamping the pharmaceutical industry.

Ms. Masebo said the Government has identified the pharmaceutical industry as a priority part of its post-pandemic approach to increasing health security and its endeavors to promote private sector-driven socio-economic development.

The Minister of Health highlighted the importance of the pharmaceutical industry in the promotion of private sector-driven socio-economic development.

“The Government of the Republic of Zambia has identified the pharmaceutical industry as a priority part of its post-pandemic approach to increasing health security and its endeavours to promote private sector driven socio-economic development. Zambia has a strong basis for developing its pharmaceutical industry given the highest-level political commitment, an established small industrial base, strong regulatory authority and latent export opportunities thanks to its land-linked status. The need to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) and other forms of private-sector partnerships have already been identified as key to the ambition, and the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) already has extensive experience of promoting investment in the sector.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia with support from the European Union Delegation (EUD) will be holding a Zambia – EU Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Forum from 1-3 March, 2023 under the theme” Strengthening healthcare through Local Pharmaceutical Manufacturing” at Mulungushi International Conference in Lusaka and I wish to thank his Excellency the President of Zambia Mr Hakainde Hichilema for graciously accepting to officiate at the upcoming Forum,” Ms. Masebo said.

“The forum will bring together representatives from Government, EU and Zambian private sector parties to discuss opportunities for partnership and provide insights that can drive investment in Zambia´s Pharmaceutical industry. This forum is a follow up activity after the idea of the Zambia Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Initiative (ZPMI) arose during the first EU-Zambia Economic Forum held in May 2022 in which His Excellency the President of Zambia Mr Hakainde Hichilema, urged a focus on industrial development in the Pharmaceutical sector. I Wish to thank His Excellency the President Mr Hakainde Hichilema for his leadership and keen interest to see that the Health Sector is able to manufacture its own medicines in Zambia and we at the Ministry of Health will run with the President’s vision.”

“On 20th of October 2022 the Zambia Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Initiative (ZPMI) as a one government initiative driven by the private sector, and including stakeholders from academia and cooperating partners was launched. Furthermore, a coordination and implementation structure has been set up with a Zambia Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Initiative Technical working group (TWG) and a steering committee (ZPMI-SC) which include all key stakeholders from government, non-governmental entities and private sector,” she said.

Ms. Masebo the commitment of the Zambia Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Initiative (ZPMI) has given rise to the upcoming forum to facilitate the interface between international pharmaceutical giants and the local pharmaceutical.

“It is the commitment of the Zambia Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Initiative(ZPMI) that has now given rise to this important forum to facilitate the interface between international pharmaceutical giants and the local pharmaceutical industry under the following objectives for the Forum: To inform participants of the detailed design of the Zambia Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Initiative (ZPMI ) investment promotion and dimensions. Begin the establishment and development of a multi annual Pharma Industry strategy with a cost implementation plan. Identify areas of interest for local manufacturing of medicines and other health commodities. Outline potential for partnerships for the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry and attract EU pharma industry to invest in Zambia. Enable networks and exchanges between Zambia and EU pharma companies and trigger potential future concrete business ‘transactions,” Ms. Masebo stated.

She revealed that nine (9) local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies have confirmed participation and 28 International pharma manufacturing companies have similarly indicated participation during the forum.

“So far, it is gratifying to know that a total of 9 local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies have confirmed participation and 28 International pharma manufacturing companies have similarly indicated participation during the forum. This is a good sign to ensure strong commitment for partnership and grow the pharmaceutical industry. Other participants will be financial, insurance, nutrition and cotton processing companies. In view of the above, using the one government approach, the Ministry of Health with Ministry of Commerce and Industry and other government agencies will see to it that this meeting is a success and culminate into tangible investment, partnerships and productivity which will ultimately lead to both the growth of Zambia’s pharmaceutical sector and attainment of pharmaceutical commodity security, I therefore welcome the participant to this important undertaking as we strive to promote local manufacturing of essential medicines and medical supplies,” Ms. Masebo concluded.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It’s difficult to understand Masebo. She’s abandoned existing players in the industry in preference to new entrants. If she really means what she’s saying, she should have first supported those that are already established. She opted to get drugs from Egypt when we have local suppliers. Has she got an interest in the new players?

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  2. UPND seems to be confused with what its wants..in one breath you talk of promoting local businesses in the next you are talking about direct foreign investment which will definitely wipe out local competitors with their vast financial backing. We are simply giving businesses to foreigners…you go into the EU and try to set up a pharmastical company you will be hit with so much paperwork…where is the valuie addition you promised? Stop selling out already you have turned TAZAMA pipeline into a pipe for refined products ripping everything our Grandfathers built for a country to be self reliant and add value into the economy.

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  3. @Tarino Orange and Ayatollah, I don’t see your source of confusion. Ms Masebo has stated that they are looking at foreign direct investment (FDI) and other forms of private sector partnerships. This other forms obviously includes local competitors as evidenced by her gratification that so far 9 local companies had indicated they would participate. If these local companies have the capital and expertise to provide the needed investment, they should be able to make their case at this engagement. If they require foreign partnerships for some ventures, this forum will provide ample opportunity for that type of collaboration to be hatched. Should they feel threatened by foreign participants, they should use this forum to raise their concerns.

  4. Now when the President comes to attend this forum please make sure the zambian flag is the right side up and please don’t read the wrong speech.

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