Rwanda to host  headquarters of the African Medicines Agency (AMA)

Rwanda to host headquarters of the African Medicines Agency (AMA)

On Friday, 15 July, it was announced that Rwanda had been chosen as the host nation for the African Medicines Agency [AMA] following a crucial African Union meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

Rwanda beat off competition from seven other African countries (Uganda, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zimbabwe) for the opportunity to host the AMA. This is the latest in a succession of recent achievements that are transforming Rwanda into a regional hub for medicine and healthcare.

In June, Rwanda began construction on the first mRNA vaccine plant in all of Africa. The plant will be owned by the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, which produced the famed Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and enable scalable mRNA vaccine production in Africa.

This comes shortly after the European Union launched a twinning and cooperation agreement with the Rwanda Food and Drug Authority that will offer the Rwandan FDA critical lab equipment and peer-to-peer support from several EU Member State regulatory agencies.

The Rwandan Government also recently approved the establishment of the Africa Biomanufacturing Institute in Rwanda, which will help train, re-skill and upskill professionals in the bio-manufacturing industry. The institute will focus on workforce development and, with the support of international partners, help close the skills gap that exists in African biopharma manufacturing.

These are huge advances not just for Rwanda but all of Africa. We saw throughout 2021 how developed nations hoarded global COVID-19 vaccine supplies for their own populations, which has led to a massive disparity in vaccination rates between Africa and the rest of the world. Moreover, with the deadly new Omicron BA.5 subvariant leading to rising Covid-19 infection rates across the globe, Rwanda’s growing bio-manufacturing industry is essential to helping Africa achieve self-sufficiency in medicine production.

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