Rwanda and the African Union signed an agreement designating Kigali as the host city for the headquarters of the African Medicines Agency.
This signing follows Rwanda’s recent official acceptance to host the headquarters of the African Medicines Agency on their territory.
In 2019, African countries adopted a treaty to establish the Agency, which became effective in 2021. The creation of the Agency is a key part of the African Union’s strategy to reduce the continent’s reliance on foreign pharmaceutical products, as Africa currently imports 97% of its required medicines. The agency’s mandate includes regulating and harmonizing the pharmaceutical market across the continent, promoting local production in Africa, and combating the trade of counterfeit medicines. Minata Samaté Cessouma, the AU Commissioner for Health, emphasizes the need for Africa to prepare for future pandemics beyond Covid-19, and the agency aims to propose “African solutions” to address such challenges.
According to Sabin Nsanzimana, the Rwandan Minister of Health, this agreement marks a significant step towards operationalizing the African Medicines Agency, more than four years after the adoption of the treaty in 2019.
The recruitment of staff for the agency will be discussed during the second extraordinary session of the 23 member states that have ratified the treaty, scheduled to take place in Kigali in ten days’ time.