Cabinet approves ratification of African Medicines Agency

The Kenya Health Federation (KHF) has hailed the Cabinet’s approval to ratify the African Medicines Agency (AMA) Treaty.

KHF Chairperson Dr. Kanyenje Gakombe said the establishment of AMA in Kenya will provide the country with an opportunity to leverage foreign direct investment flows estimated at more than Kshs 570 billion in health the short-to-medium term.

The Cabinet chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta approved the ratification of the African Union Treaty for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday. The approval is now awaiting the passing of the necessary legislative instruments at the National Assembly.

The AMA Treaty entered into force on November 5, 2021 upon depositing the 15th Instrument of ratification at the African Union Commission.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, Gakombe said local health stakeholders are ready to provide the necessary support to the government in the establishment of AMA headquarters in Kenya.

“We are confident AMA will strengthen our national positioning as a pharmaceutical, health products and technologies investment destination,” affirmed Gakombe.

He appealed to Members of Parliament to prioritize the passing of the legislative instruments, noting that the establishment of AMA locally will enhance the country’s competitiveness as a healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in Sub-Sahara Africa

Based on the recent securing of a US$500 million investment commitment by pharmaceutical biotechnology firm Moderna seeking to set up a manufacturing plant in Kenya, KHF estimates that the hosting of AMA in the country will ignite a tenfold commitment to similar investments.

“Kenya is currently well placed and resourced intellectually to act as the AMA host site of choice. The recent commitment by Moderna is a good example, and we have a good chance to scale up the commitments ten times if we push and lobby for the hosting of AMA in Kenya,” Dr Gakombe stated.

He observed that having AMA in Kenya and the proposed setting up of the Moderna manufacturing plant would provide immense social and economic benefits among them sustainable supply chains, technology transfer, knowledge transfer, skills transfer, manufacture of complex and more advanced medicines and economic empowerment through the creation of new quality jobs and export opportunities.

According to KHF, the hosting of KMA and Moderna manufacturing plant approach could become a rewarding investment for companies, governments, and funders since Africa’s demand for vaccines already makes up about a quarter of global vaccine volume and is expected to increase with the region’s estimated 2.5 percent annual population growth.

AMA is an African Continental Agency that contributes to the improved regulation of medicines, medical products and technologies and advances the implementation of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan of Africa.



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