The EU and the Gates Foundation will invest more than 100 million euros to set up an African medicines regulator

BRUSSELS, Feb 15 (Reuters) – The European Union and the Gates Foundation will invest more than 100 million euros ($113.4 million) over the next five years to help set up an African medicines regulator to boost the production of medicines and vaccines on the continent, the European Commission has announced. said Tuesday.

The announcement, which confirms a Reuters report last week, comes ahead of a Thursday summit of EU and African Union leaders, at which the EU is expected to reiterate its commitment to a $150 billion investment package euros in Africa.

A treaty establishing the African Medicines Agency (AMA) came into effect in November, but the agency currently exists only on paper. So far, just over half of the 55 member states of the African Union have ratified the treaty establishing the regulator.

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WADA’s funding will come from the European Commission, Germany, France, Belgium and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a non-profit organization that plays a major role in global health, a the European Commission said in a statement.

“We are trying to support African partners so that they can produce 60% of the vaccines they use by 2040,” European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen told reporters.

Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU would mobilize €150 billion for Africa in the coming years as part of its global investment strategy. This includes funding from the AMA read more.

“Strengthening the African continent’s health systems and immunization capacities is central to our work,” said European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides.

A trusted regulator is crucial for the development of pharmaceutical products.

The race to establish the AMA comes after the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the region’s reliance on imported vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. Just over 5% of medicines and 1% of vaccines consumed by the population of 1.2 billion people are produced locally.

Africa initially struggled to secure doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as wealthy countries grabbed limited supplies. Deliveries to the mainland then resumed, but only 10% of Africans are fully vaccinated.

($1 = 0.8814 euros)

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Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; additional reporting by John Chalmers

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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