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AfDB moves to cut $14bn annual import of medicine into Africa

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AfDB inaugurates project to create jobs in 3 African countries

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation for Africa’s access to technologies.

According to the bank, this is for the manufacture of medicines, vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.

Also read: AfDB’s infrastructure projects in West Africa hit $11.5 bn — Official

In a statement by the bank”s Communication and External Relations Department on Monday in Abuja, the AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina described the development as a leap for Africa.

He said, with Africa importing more than 70 per cent of all the medicines it needs and consuming 14 billion dollars per year, the establishment of the Foundation was a major development.

Adesina said “Global efforts to rapidly expand manufacturing of essential pharmaceutical products including vaccines in developing countries, particularly in Africa, to assure greater access, had been hampered.

“This has been hampered by intellectual property rights protection and patents on technological know-how, manufacturing processes and trade secrets.

“African pharmaceutical companies do not have the scouting and negotiation capacity, and bandwidth to engage with global pharmaceutical companies.

“They have been marginalised and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations.”

He decried that of 35 companies which recently signed a licence with America’s Merck to produce Nirmatrelvir, a COVID-19 drug, none was African.

According to him, no institution exists in Africa to support the practical implementation of Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) on nonexclusive or exclusive licencing of proprietary technologies, know-how and processes.

He expressed optimism that the Foundation would fill existing gaps when fully established.

“It will be staffed with world-class experts on pharmaceutical innovation and development, intellectual property rights, and health policy.

“It will act as a transparent intermediator advancing and brokering the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global and other Southern pharmaceutical companies,” the statement said.

It quoted Adesina as saying, “Africa must have a healthy defence system, which must include three major areas.

“Revamping Africa’s pharmaceutical industry, building Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity, and building Africa’s quality healthcare infrastructure.”

The statement said that African leaders had called on AfDB to facilitate the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.

It said that the AfDB president, who presented the case for the institution to the African Union at the Summit in Addis Ababa in February, said it was a bold initiative.

“Africa can no longer outsource the healthcare security of its 1.3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others.

”With this bold initiative, the African Development Bank has made good on that commitment.

“The decision is a major boost to the health prospects of a continent.

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“A continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of several diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19, but with very limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines.”

The statement noted that the World Trade Organisation WTO)and the World Health Organisation (WHO), welcomed the bank’s decision to establish the Foundation.

It quoted the Director-General of the WTO Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as saying, “the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action by the African Development Bank.

“It provides part of the infrastructure needed to assure an emergent pharmaceutical industry in Africa.”

The statement also quoted the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus as saying “establishing the Foundation was a game-changer”.

It also quoted him as saying it was a game-changer “on accelerating access of African pharmaceutical companies to IP-protected technologies and know-how in Africa,”

On activities of the Foundation, the statement said that it would prioritise technologies, products and processes focused primarily on diseases that were widely prevalent in Africa.

It noted that the Foundation would build human and professional skills, and a research and development ecosystem while supporting the upgrade of manufacturing plant capacities and regulatory quality to meet WHO standards.

According to the statement, the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is being established under the auspices of the AfDB,

It stated that the Foundation would operate independently and raise funds from various stakeholders including governments, development finance institutions, and philanthropic organisations among others.

“The Foundation will boost the African Development Bank’s commitment to spend at least three billion dollars over the next 10 years.

“This is to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan.

“The Foundation’s areas of work will also be an asset to all other current investments into pharmaceutical production in Africa.

“Rwanda will host the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.

“It will have its own governance and operational structures while promoting and brokering alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies.”

The statement further pointed out that the Foundation would strengthen local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology among others.

The Foundation according to the statement, will work with African Union Commission, European Union Commission, WHO and other stakeholders, for collaboration in developed countries and developing countries.

 

Economy

Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

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Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

…RT.BRISCOE, Tantalizer lead the losers’ table 

 The equity market on Wednesday lost N25 billion due to selloffs in MTN Nigeria, Dangote Sugar and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), among other stocks.

Specifically, the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.670 trillion, shed N25 billion or 0.04 per cent to close at N56.645 trillion.

The All-Share Index also dropped 0.04 per cent, or 43.3 points, to close at 100,032.32, as against 100,075.59 recorded on Tuesday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return slipped to 33.78 per cent.

United Capital led 10 per cent to close at N36.30, Africa Prudential followed by 9.88 per cent to close at N8.90, and Cutix gained 9.86 per cent to close at N6.13 per share.

Oando rose by 5.63 per cent to close at N16.90, and Julius Berger advanced by 4.79 per cent to close at N87.50 per share.

Conversely, RTBRISCOE led the losers’ log with 5.71 per cent to close at 66k, and FTN Cocoa Processors trailed by 4.44 per cent to close at N1.72 per share.

Tantalizer declined by 4.26 per cent to close at 45K, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals shed 3.53 per cent to close at N1.64 and Consolidated Hallmark Plc lost N3.45 to close at N1.40 per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 35.71 per cent.

A total of 1.10 million shares valued at N10.08 billion were exchanged in 8,720 deals, compared to 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion exchanged in 8,151 deals posted previously.

Jaiz Bank led the activity log-in volume with 528.49 million shares worth N1.15 billion, Cutix followed by 194.64 million shares worth N1.19 billion.

Zenith traded 77.75 million shares valued at N3.11 billion to lead the log-in value, Universal Insurance transacted 36.26 million shares worth N12.35 million and FCMB sold 33.88 million shares worth N257.09 million. 

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Economy

Stock Market Maintains Positive Trends, Up 0.11%

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Stock market maintains positive trends, up 0.11%

…Redstarex, Deap Capital lead the losers’ table 

 The Nigerian stock market maintained its positive trends on Tuesday, increasing the overall market index by 0.11 per cent.

Investors gained N62 billion or 0.11 per cent as the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.608 trillion closed at N56.670 trillion.

The All-Share Index also advanced by 0.11 per cent or 109.3 points to close at 100,075.59, compared to 99,966.28 recorded on Monday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 33.84 per cent.

Sustained by interest in Tier-one banking tickers such as Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings, United Bank For Africa (UBA), and Access Corporation, alongside United Capital, UACN and other advanced equities drove the market’s positive performance.

Meanwhile, market breadth closed positive with 19 gainers and 15 losers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ table, United Capital led by 10 per cent to close at N33, Cutix Plc followed by 9.84 per cent to close at N5.58 and Sunu Assurances gained 7.75 per cent to close at N1.39 per share.

Cornerstone Insurance rose by 7.69 per cent to close at N2.10 and UACN went up by 7.42 per cent to close at N15.20 per share.

On the other hand,  Redstarex led the losers’ table by 9.82 per cent to close at N3, and McNichols Plc trailed by 9.01 per cent to close at N1.01 per cent.

Deap Capital Management and Trust Plc lost 5.77 per cent to close at 49k, Eterna Plc declined by 4.44 per cent to close at N17.20 and Universal Insurance shed 2.78 per cent to close at 35k per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 0.78 per cent.

A total of 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion were exchanged in 8,151 deals, compared with 362.43 million shares valued at N7.37 billion exchanged in 8,405 deals posted previously.

Zenith Bank led the activity table in volume and value with 57.42 million shares worth N2.25 billion, and Access Corporation followed with 36.75 million shares valued at N707.17 million.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO) also sold 29.16 million shares valued at N1.33 billion, Jaiz Bank traded 28.34 million shares worth N60.94 million and UBA transacted 20.31 million shares valued at N466.16 million.

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Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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