Kagame receives African Union Special Envoy for Medicines Agency

On 15 May 2021 at 06:28

President Paul Kagame yesterday received Michel Sidibé; African Union Special Envoy for the African Medicines Agency (AMA), the Presidency has tweeted but didn’t reveal areas of discussions.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije was also present during discussions held at Urugwiro Village.

On the same day, Michel Sidibé held talks with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Clementine Mukeka.

Michel Sidibé once served as the Minister of Health in Mali. He commended Rwanda’s contribution to support the establishment of African Medicines Agency.

The African Union adopted treaties establishing AMA in February 2019. At least 15 countries need to endorse these agreements for the implementation phase to begin.

President Kagame is among Heads of State that support the establishment of AMA.

During the recent meeting on how African continent can begin manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, he rallied African Heads of State to endorse these treaties.

AMA is expected to address challenges in the health sector particularly reinforcing the manufacturing of medicines of African continent to avoid heavy reliance on imports.

Africa registers 375 plants manufacturing medicines which produce between 10 and 30 percent of medical products needed on the continent.

AMA is also expected to address the production of medicines that do not meet international standards.

African Medicine Agency coincided with COVID-19 related crisis whereby wealthy countries are contending to hoard vaccines.

On 11th February 2019, the AU Assembly, during their 32nd Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, adopted the treaty for the establishment of the AMA. The treaty was then unanimously adopted by the African Ministers of Health gathered at the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva .The AMA was expected to be launched in 2018, with efforts being made to ensure that the agency capitalises on already existent mechanisms, experiences and technologies to work in an effective manner towards the accomplishment of its objectives.

It has been estimated that in the first 5 years, a total of US$100 million will be required to fund the AMA with portions of this amount funding human resource costs, infrastructure and operational costs.

The AU Member States have also agreed to provide contributions in kind to the AMA by way of dedicating part of the time of their National Medicines Regulatory Authorities (NMRA) staff for the work of the Agency. This is to ensure that the AMA has a small critical mass of competent staff to enable the work of the experts, and that of their respective committees.

President Paul Kagame received in a group photo with Michel Sidibé , accompanying delegation and Rwanda's Minister of Health.