September 23, 2020
Clickongh

#CitiBusinessFestival: Pharmaceutical firms urged to use AfCFTA to boost drug production

Businesses in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector have been challenged to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to export more of their products to other African countries.

Even though the African pharmaceutical market is growing rapidly, the continent still imports over 70% of the drugs it consumes.

Commenting on the opportunities available to healthcare businesses as a result of the AFCFTA on the Citi Business Festival On-Air Series, a Senior Partner at AB & David, and a member of the Afrochampions Initiative, David Ofosu-Dorte, said increasing local production of healthcare products is absolutely critical for African businesses.

“It may interest you to know that the potential for export in pharmaceuticals as an example is quite big in Africa and we are talking about billions of dollars that has a potential to be made which we currently import from all kinds of places; and I think Ghana may set the right example with the production of PPE in the country. And many African countries tried to do that just because of core supply chains. If this could be explored further and consolidated, we are talking about ramping up our production and the ability to make money from the health care sector alone by 2030, which is estimated at 259 billion dollars”.

Mr. Ofosu Dorte further called on African countries to collaborate efficiently to achieve better intra Africa trade relationships.

“In my view, COVID-19 has even given us an opportunity. I think players in these sectors should put enough pressure on the various governments and work together collectively on the continent, to try and see how we can domesticate a lot of these things to promote intra African trade” he suggested.

The AfCFTA, which is expected to take off in July this year, seeks to among other things establish a single market for goods and services across 54 countries, allow the free movement of business travelers and investments, and create a continental customs union to streamline trade – and attract long-term investment.

The 2020 edition of the Citi Business Festival started on Monday, June 1, 2020, with an array of radio and TV programmes.

It is sponsored by the Ghana Investment Promotion Authority (GIPC), ABSA Bank, Citi FM and powered by Ghana’s most comprehensive business news website, www.citibusinessnews.com.

Source: Business