The African Development Bank or AfDB has approved a $3.56 million (N1.4 trillion) grant for the development of the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria and other West African countries.
At the signing of the Protocol of Agreement yesterday in Abuja, Lamin Barrow, director-general, Nigeria Country Department of AfDB, said the bank’s active portfolio in West Africa comprises 350 projects valued at $15.5 billion, with Nigeria accounting for 32%. He added that these projects are focused on building infrastructure and supporting regional enterprise development.
Barrow said the implementation of the new African pharmaceutical order is due to the fragility of the national health systems in the continent, which the COVID-19 crisis exposed, in addition to Africa’s reliance on imports for 70% of its pharmaceutical needs.
“In response to the call from the African Union, the President of AfDB, Adesina, announced that the bank would mobilize up to $3bn to support the development of Africa’s health infrastructure defence system, including the pharmaceutical industry,” Barrow said.
“As part of this support, the bank, on January 25, 2022, approved the $3.56m grant for this project whose objective is to develop a robust pharmaceutical sector that will ensure increased local manufacturing of essential drugs and medicines that are of high quality, safe and accessible to the population in the West Africa region.”
He said the ECOWAS Commission would contribute $600,000 to complement the bank’s financing.