Zimbabwe will soon ratify the treaty to establish the African Medicines Agency (AMA) that will spearhead the production and harmonisation of pharmaceutical products on the continent.
The AMA treaty was adopted by African Union’s Heads of State and Government during their 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly on February 11, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Zimbabwe signed the Treaty in March this year to become the 19th member State.
Yesterday, AU special envoy and head of AMA, Mr Michel Sidibe and Dr Margaret Agama-Anyetei, the head of the Health, Nutrition and Population Division of the AU’s Department of Social Affairs, paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Mr Sidibe said Zimbabwe as an important country that had demonstrated the importance of shared responsibility and solidarity in the field of health.
He said it was important to establish AMA as the continent was only producing 3 percent of the global medicines market and losing out on the multi-billion-dollar industry.
“We can create jobs. We can transform the sector so we need the AMA and His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) told us that they have already taken the decision. “Zimbabwe has signed already and now they will ratify and that is the best news I can get as the special envoy,”
The ratification will be done through Parliament when the treaty is brought up for debate.
Mr Sidibe said the Agency would help member states to manufacture locally and standardise its products.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic had taught the continent that it needed to be self-reliant in the production of medicines.
In her remarks, Dr Agama-Anyetei said among the objectives of the Agenda 2063 adopted by the AU, was to have a healthy and prosperous African continent and the Agency would contribute towards that.
AMA will, among other functions designate, promote, strengthen, coordinate and monitor regional centres of regulatory excellence with a view to developing the capacity of medical products regulatory professionals.
The Agency will also coordinate and collaborate, where required and on a regular basis, the inspection of drug manufacturing sites, including the regulatory oversight and safety monitoring of medical products, as determined by State Parties and/or the AMA, and make reports available to State Parties.
It will also promote cooperation, partnership and recognition of regulatory decisions, in support of regional structures and national medicines regulatory authorities that takes into account mobilisation of financial and technical resources to ensure its sustainability.