Nigeria, Others Spend $14 Billion Importing Pharmaceutical Products

Nigeria and other African countries currently spend at least $14 billion on importation of pharmaceutical products needed in the continent, owing to lack of capacity in local products, therefore exporting needed jobs to other countries, United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Executive Secretary,
Vera Songwe, has said. Songwe said Africa should stop exporting much-needed jobs to other continents
and invest in its pharmaceutical industry, in particular, to provide for its people and create jobs for its unemployed youth. Speaking at the Africa Business Health Forum for 2019, Ms. Songwe in a statement, said Africa could create more than 16 million jobs if the public and private sectors collaborated and invested enough in the drugs industry. Africa, she said, currently imports $14 billion worth of its
pharmaceuticals from outside, a situation she said can be curtailed. “the health and wellness sector has the potential to create 16 million jobs. We should no longer export those jobs. We should bring back those jobs,” said Ms. Songwe. She continued:

“By 2030, an estimated 14 percent of all business opportunities in the health and well-being sector globally will be in Africa, second only to North America with 21 percent. this is a huge opportunity for the private sector.” Songwe urged governments on the continent to work with the private sector to ensure there’s access to health by all on the continent. “We know that a happy Africa is a productive Africa. We know that a healthy Africa is a prosperous Africa. that is the purpose of this forum – to say we should no longer be exporting those jobs,” the ECA Chief said. Africa’s business magnate, Aliko Dangote, in a message read on his behalf, said governments from both developed and developing countries were increasingly looking at public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a way to expand access to higher-quality health services by leveraging capital, managerial capacity, and know how from the private sector.

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