RWANDA—The African Development Fund’s Board of Directors has approved a US$11.96 million grant to speed the development of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, which will be headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda.

The African Development Bank Board of Directors formed the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation in June 2022, and in December 2023, they signed a host country agreement with the Rwandan government.

The African Development Bank Group’s Regional Public Good Window will offer financial assistance, coupled with a Rwandan government investment of US$1.93 million, to carry out the Regional Pharmaceutical Sector Support Project in Rwanda.

Furthermore, the African Development Fund’s funding aims to promote access to breakthrough pharmaceutical technology and boost Africa’s pharmaceutical industry’s regulatory environment.

The African Development Fund grant will be used to purchase office equipment such as furniture, hardware, and software for the Foundation, which the Rwandan government designated as an international organization.

Furthermore, the capital will be utilized to hire professionals and specialized technology organizations to deliver a variety of health and pharmaceutical services.

In addition to administrative and human resources, some professionals will be tasked with developing financial and contract award processes.

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

This will help the foundation to strengthen African pharmaceuticals’ capability so that they can commit to boosting local production as part of a methodical strategy for learning new technologies and bringing manufacturing plants up to technological standards.

Furthermore, it will boost human and professional competencies in the industry, the R&D ecosystem, as well as pharmaceutical and vaccine innovation, to build the skills required for the continent’s booming sector.

Aissa Touré Sarr, head of the African Development Bank’s Rwanda country office, stated that the initiative will generate significant benefits, such as outputs and outcomes, across Africa.

She went on to say that the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation’s cutting-edge research and technological innovations will improve healthcare outcomes by increasing access to advanced medicines and treatments, addressing common diseases, and contributing to the continent’s overall health resilience.

This initiative will further support information and awareness campaigns, consulting services, training manufacturers in excellent manufacturing procedures, and study tours for tacit knowledge transfer.

 It will also improve the quality and safety of pharmaceutical products, as well as hasten the establishment of a regional mutual recognition system in conformity with the East African Community’s medical standards.

It will support a variety of operations, including cooperative reviews of medical product paperwork, joint inspections of good manufacturing practices, medical product signal identification and investigations, and antibiotic post-marketing surveillance activities.

The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation will work closely with the African Union Medicines Agency, the African 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 foundation, the first of its type to engage with the public and private sectors in Africa, North America, Europe, and the rest of the developing world, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Investment Bank. Furthermore, it receives major funding from Germany.

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