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President Kagame Lobbying For African Medicines Agency

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As Covid-19 pandemic continues its protracted pounding across the globe, Africa is reminded it is the time for solidarity owing to missing out in the scramble for vaccines.

President Paul Kagame is now pushing for a swift ratification of a treaty establishing the African Medicines Agency.

Ibrahim Mayaki, Nepad Chief Executive Officer flew to Rwanda’s capital Kigali to meet President Kagame from March 13-15 to take stock of the institution’s activities and its priorities for the coming months. Item 1 on the agenda: accelerating ratifications of the treaty establishing the African Medicines Agency, under the aegis of the AU.

“Quality of Governance is not always linked to “level of development “but to leadership ;an example is Rwanda that had a roll out implementation plan of vaccination before receiving the vaccines. Some “developed” countries have surpluses of vaccines and face chaotic implementation,” Mayaki said on Monday.

Kagame is also the Chairperson of the AUDA-NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.

The AU’s development agency Nepad has created a WhatsApp group to mobilize stakeholders in the sector and has started to approach health committees in national parliaments. WHO is also making its interlocutors aware of the merits of creating this agency, with the aim of encouraging them to sign.

The Covid-19 pandemic has in any case come as a glaring reminder of the need for continental solidarity, while African countries feel neglected in the vaccine race and largely depend on the Covax system. This crisis accelerated lobbying in favor of African Medicines Agency (AMA).

According to critics, the treaty establishing the African Medicines Agency (AMA), adopted in February 2019 under the aegis of the African Union (AU), must be ratified by at least fifteen countries for this institution to see the light of day.

At this point, eight of the 18 signatories have already ratified it. Rwanda, Mali, Burkina Faso, Seychelles, Guinea and Ghana have recently joined forces with Morocco and Namibia.

The main objective of the AMA is to allow the populations of the 54 countries of the continent to have safe access to quality medical products (and therefore to fight against counterfeits) yet by harmonizing regulations, it could also serve as a vaccine ordering tool.

“The weakness of some of our regulatory authorities does not allow us, even at the level of certain regions, to have the means to examine in good conditions the complex files transmitted by the laboratories which manufacture vaccines against the Covid- 19 or biotechnological drugs, regrets Innocent Koundé Kpéto, president of the Order of Pharmacists of Togo. WADA could bring together pools of experts who could assess them correctly and quickly. “

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