The African Development Bank Group signs a Memorandum of Understanding with ECOWAS for a $3.56 million grant to develop the West African Pharmaceutical Industry

African Development Bank ( and the Commission for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have signed a memorandum of understanding totaling $3.56 million in grants to support the development of the pharmaceutical industry in West Africa.

Lamin Barrow, Managing Director of the Bank for Nigeria and Mamadou Traore, Commissioner of ECOWAS in charge of Industry and Private Sector, signed the agreement for the Pharmaceutical Industry Development Support Project in West Africa on Wednesday.

The total cost of the project is $3.77 million, of which the ECOWAS Commission will provide $200,000 in cash and $400,000 in kind.

The fund will support the implementation of regulations to allow duty-free access to pharmaceutical raw materials, packaging and finished products under the ECOWAS Common External Tariff. It will also help build an effective regional pharmaceutical regulatory ecosystem by providing technical assistance programs to regional regulatory authorities.

Commissioner Traore said: “Local production of drugs and biologics has become a regional imperative and priority, as has the provision of healthcare delivery services. The African Development Bank’s support of these priorities will help ECOWAS achieve its development goals.”

During the signing ceremony held in Abuja, African Development Bank Director General for Nigeria, Lamin Barrow said: “The COVID-19 crisis further exposes the fragility of our national healthcare system and poses a significant disruption to global healthcare and pharmaceutical supply chains. This underscores the urgency of accelerating efforts to ensure a minimum level of supply of health products.”

The project will increase the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry through improving product quality and standards and help ensure that the region adheres to best practices in pharmaceutical product manufacturing and supply. This will strengthen regional training institutions and laboratories to ensure that the required skills are available to support the regional growth of the industry in a gender sensitive and environmentally sound manner.

Responding to calls from the African Union and the pharmaceutical industry, the African Development Bank has taken a leadership role in developing and advancing the Continental Vision and Action Plan for the new African Pharmaceutical order. President of the Bank Group Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina announced last year that the agency would mobilize up to $3 billion to support this development.

The project will also advance the World Bank’s efforts to support the harmonization of the regulatory environment for drugs across Africa at the regional and continental levels. This, together with the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area, will deepen integration and intra-African trade, enhancing regional markets.

The Bank’s Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Solomon Quaynor, said: “To develop the pharmaceutical industry, the African Development Bank will help develop local production capacity to increase the market share of African pharmaceutical production value (local and regional). to 45-55% by 2030.”

The project is in line with the three strategic priorities of the African Development Bank’s Big Five: Industrializing Africa, Integrating Africa, and Improving the quality of life of African people. It also advances the Bank’s Regional Integration Strategy for West Africa, and is in line with the Bank’s gender strategy, and its strategic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ECOWAS Commission will be the implementing agency for this project, which will run for two years, starting in 2022. The West African Health Organization will be the implementing agency.

Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media contact:
Romaric Olo Hien
Department of Communication and External Relations
Email: [email protected]

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The African Development Bank Group signs a Memorandum of Understanding with ECOWAS for a $3.56 million grant to develop the West African Pharmaceutical Industry

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