Feb 8 , 2020

A pharmaceutical firm formed after a joint venture agreement between Ethiopian and Indian investors became the first company to launch construction of a plant in Kilinto Industrial Park.

Africure Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Ethiopia Plc laid a cornerstone for the construction of the facility for 10 million dollars. Expected to be finalised within 18 months, the plant will occupy 12,000Sqm out of a total of 20,000Sqm of land designated for the company.

The Park, which was launched in 2018, was constructed for 5.5 billion Br on 279ha of land, has its power supply substitution system and zero liquid discharge water and chemical treatment facilities.

Once operational, the plant will make one billion tablets and capsules and 14 million bottles of syrup annually on its first phase of production. It is also expected to create 105 jobs, of which 95pc are for Ethiopians.

It will cover 65pc of the country’s pharmaceutical needs, according to Tadesse Teferi (MD), the Ethiopian shareholder of the company, which plans to launch the second phase to double production capacity and start making HIV medicines. The third phase, which is scheduled to take place in seven to 10 years, will produce active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Africure has plants in Cameroon, Namibia, Botswana and Cote d’Ivoire and are initiating the next facilities in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.

Munir Kassa (MD), state minister for Health who attended the inauguration ceremony, explained that importing medicine for life-threatening diseases is tough.

“If investors build pharmaceutical manufacturing plants,” said Munir, “the Ministry will buy their products with good prices to incentivise them.”

Currently, up to 60pc of people die from infectious diseases and conditions related to child and mother care. More than 37pc die by non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hepatic diseases and malaria.

Temesgen Tilahun, the deputy commissioner at the Ethiopian Investment Commission, attended the ceremony and stated that 12 additional pharmaceutical companies are expected to join the Park soon.

Eyasu Mekonnen (MD), associate professor and chair of the department of biochemistry and pharmacology under the College of Health Science at Addis Abeba University, says the plant arrived at a critical time.

People are dying from easily curable diseases, because of the chronic shortage of critical drugs, according to the pharmacologist.

“Currently, it’s becoming difficult to find medical drugs in the city,” says Eyasu. “It’s encouraging to find a pharmaceutical manufacturer constructing its own plant."

Eyasu also stressed that the company has to be regulated by the law, and it should have transparent manufacturing practices.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 08,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1032]

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