Getting the Formula Right for Sustainable Health Product Manufacturing in Africa
Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in partnership with the Government of Botswana hosted the U.S.-Africa Business Summit on July 11-14, 2023 in Gaborone, Botswana. The Summit brought together more than 1,500 U.S. and African public and private sector participants, including African Heads of State, U.S. and African Ministers and senior government officials, private sector executives and entrepreneurs, international investors, and multilateral stakeholders.
The Friday morning plenary on Getting the Formula Right for Sustainable Health Product Manufacturing, moderated by Matthews Mmopi of McKinsey, covered the essential steps needed to enhance Africa’s health manufacturing capabilities, including the inter-relation between the importance of improving regulatory capacity and efficiency through regulatory harmonisation, increasing access to finance and making procurement systems more innovative and accessible to local manufacturers to support demand. AUDA-NEPAD’s Chimwemwe Chamdimba described her agency’s efforts to improve regulatory systems, including quality control as a way to develop the market, including working with National Medicines Regulatory Agencies (NMRAs) to adopt more efficient ways of inspecting facilities and preventing counterfeit medicines. There was broad agreement among the panelists that countries needed to recognize that expanding local manufacturing on the Continent would require African countries’ procuring locally manufactured medicines and other health products, even though it may not be at the lowest cost in the short term. The International Finance Corporation’s Farid Fezoua highlighted the importance of adopting the right kind of policies that incentivize improving the quality and increasing quantity of locally manufactured health products. He and the Development Finance Corporation’s Nafisa Jiwani agreed on the importance of transparency in creating demand and fostering collaboration with investors, including through developing blended financing options to increase cooperation between the public and private sectors. Eli Lilly’s Rob Lloyd used the example of his company’s partnership to produce insulin in Egypt to highlight the importance of getting supply chains right, including of key ingredients, as well as the importance of strengthening research and development capabilities on the continent.