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Dar’s 900bn/- pharmaceutical project thrills potential investors

TANZANIA has presented a 938bn/- pharmaceutical project before prospective investors at the African Investment Forum here.

Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango (pictured) led government delegation to the conference met prospective investors, included OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Korean Kolon Corporation for detailed deliberations in the first day of the forum.

According to the project description, the government wants to establish the general pharmaceutical plant under a Public Private Partnership under Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) arrangement.

The plant will be constructed in Kibaha, Coast region under the Medical Stores Department to produce drugs and other medical equipment for domestic as well as East African Community and SADC markets.

Tanzania is regarded as one of large pharmaceutical markets in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of value that reached 496 million US dollars in 2017 and growing at 8.3 per cent to 538 million dollars last year, accord ing to industry sources.

Dr Mpango told the ‘Daily News’ here that the investors they met were curious for important details about the proposed project that would prove whether it was feasible and economically viable.

“The devil was in the details. They asked about research conducted on the market, government guarantee, incentives to be offered and the general risks about the project,” said the minister after the boardroom session with investors who also wanted to know how the cost of establishing the pharmaceutical plant which is pegged in US dollars could be recouped.

“The most important thing they said, the project was good and it aligned with sustainable development goals on health. They said they could see the good prospects of the project,” he said.

Dr Mpango said the pharmaceutical plant would also create more jobs and trade opportunities and solve the problem of counterfeit medicines as it would be easier to monitor the quality standard.

The government had lined eleven projects to be presented to prospective investors in the three-day Africa Investment Forum organised by the African  Development Bank and partners Sandton Convention Centre to advance projects, raise capital and close financial deals.

However, it was only the general pharmaceutical plant project had reached the stage for the boardroom session for presentation to prospective investors, the minister said.

Around 2,000 delegates attended the forum that brought together heads of state, project sponsors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors in 60 boardroom sessions to move projects from commitment to action.

The organisers said the forum will not be a talk shop but a unique platform to close financial deals for major projects that will boost economic growth and development in the continent.

“Africa Investment Forum is not a talk show. We deliver,” said Africa Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr Akinwumi Adesina at the opening ceremony.

“We promised (during the inaugural forum last year) and we delivered. We’re changing the investment narrative of Africa.”

“When we laid out our vision to tilt the flow of capital into Africa by convening the first transaction-based investment forum, many thought it would all amount to building castles in the air.

One year down the road, the verdict is undisputed. Africa’s investment opportunities are proving to be seriously attractive.”

The inaugural forum powerfully demonstrated the Bank’s convening power and ability to rally key development institutions, global and regional investors around the common objective of fast-tracking Africa’s economic transformation.

Close to 40 million US dollars’ worth of investment deals were signed and financially closed in an inaugural event here last year.

AfDB expects 59 projects valued at 67 billion dollars will be discussed with dealmakers at the forum, branded as an exclusive platform for investments in Africa.

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Author: HENRY LYIMO in Johannesburg

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