The second meeting of the task team to facilitate the establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), organized by the African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency and the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the support of the UNDP and World Bank, convened at the African Union Commission Headquarters, in Addis Ababa Ethiopia today. The main objective was to examine and review a draft legal and institutional framework and a draft business plan, that would facilitate the achievement of the milestones toward the establishment of an African Medicines Agency . This institution is expected to enhance capacities and capabilities of African regulatatory systems and improve access to good quality medicines and technologies for the peoples of the continent.
Dr. Johan Stridjom Head of Welfare Division of the AUC, speaking on behalf of the Director for Social Affairs, underscored that AMA should draw from the foundations built by successful efforts of member states through Regional Economic Communities (RECs) that were already being implemented under the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Program and the the broader Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa framework. In addition Dr. Stridjom noted that the meeting comes at a time when AU leaders have adopted their first 10 year implementation plan for Agenda 2063 and the 2030 SDGs both which emphasize the significant role health is expected to play.
He reassured participants at the meeting of the African Union's readiness to harness the global momentum, continental, regional and national level political commitment and willingness of partners to support in the medicines regulation systems.
Speaking on behalf of UNDP Regional Service for Africa, Dr. Rosemary Kumwenda, Senior Policy Advisor for Sustainable Response for Health, HIV and Development pledged their continued support to the AUC to realize the prioritized investments in health. Furthermore, Dr. Kumwenda highlighted that the 2030 global agenda for sustainable development calls for more comprehensive links between health and development. It also calls for universality, sustainability, coherence and moving out of silos in the way development is delivered.
Speaking on behalf of WHO Dr. Ossy M.J. Kasilo, Coordinator of Health Technologies and Innovation emphasized that when the AMA is fully functional it will provide a platform for coordination and strengthening of on-going initatives towards regulatory harmonization. In addition the process will also serve the purpose of pooling expertise and capacities and strengthening networking for optimal use of the limited resources available.
Mr. Apollo Muhairwe, speaking on behalf the World Bank Group, thanked the AU for hosting the meeting and inviting the Bank. Mr. Muhairwe highlighted some projects within the Bank, which include; Global Practice is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for the majority of the population by 2030. He concluded by commiting their support to the AUC.