Darlington Musarurwa in LILONGWE, Malawi
Zimbabwe is vying to host the African Medicines Authority (AMA), which is a specialised continental body that is envisaged to contribute to improved regulation of medicines, medical products and technologies, including promoting access to quality and efficacious drugs.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 41st Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government in Lilongwe, Malawi, yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava said the country wanted to “accommodate AMA”.
“Like I said earlier on, we have addressed all the issues affecting the sub-region — our region. I want to itemise major issues: industrialisation, the SADC Forum changing to the SADC Parliament, the accommodation of the African Medicines Agency, and Zimbabwe vying for that as well,” he said.
Zimbabwe became the 19th African Union country to sign the Treaty for the establishment of AMA on March 16 this year after it was adopted by Heads of State and Government on February 11, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
At the time the country signed the Treaty, AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Her Excellency Amira Elfadil Mohammed, emphasised the importance of establishing AMA to improve production and harmonisation of pharmaceutical products on the continent.
She noted that the coronavirus pandemic was an opportunity to accelerate the establishment of AMA to bridge the gap in pharmaceutical industries.
Among many of its functions, the body, which is set to become the second specialised health agency of the African Union (AU) after the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will designate, promote, strengthen, coordinate and monitor Regional Centres of Regulatory Excellence (RCOREs) with a view to developing the capacity of medical products regulatory professionals.