The ECOWAS Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Development Bank on a project to support the development of the pharmaceutical industry in the region.
The signing ceremony, which took place at the headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abuja, brought together representatives of the two institutions.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Lamin Barrow, Managing Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB), said the agreement was for the awarding of a grant of $3.56 million to support the industry. West African pharmaceutical industry.
He said that “the bank has been a key partner of the ECOWAS Commission, providing financial and technical assistance to Member States to support the implementation of the ECOWAS regional integration agenda”.
He added that the bank’s active portfolio in West Africa consists of 350 projects with a total commitment value of $15.5 billion.
Elaborating further on the need for the deal, he said the intervention aims to reduce the heavy reliance on imported pharmaceuticals from Southeast Asia, which accounts for around 70%, of local vaccine production. representing about 1% of domestic demand.
While reaffirming the Bank’s continued support to ECOWAS, he urged WAHO, as the implementing agency of the grant, to ensure judicious use of the fund for building a resilient health system in the region.
In his response, the Commissioner for Industry and the Private Sector of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Mamadou Traoré, thanked the bank for granting the grant and expressed his deep gratitude for the cooperation between the AfDB and the various ECOWAS institutions.
He added that today’s signing of the agreement further cemented the strong relationship between these great institutions, especially for the development of the automotive and pharmaceutical industry in the region. He promised on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission and WAHO to the two implementing institutions to make good use of the grant.
The signing agreement ended with a photo op of ECOWAS and AfDB representatives.