Ethiopia’s pharmaceutical industrial park prepares for operation

Construction of Ethiopia’s pharmaceutical industrial park worth 5.5 billion birr (over $202 million) is underway. The park, which is meant to improve the quality of healthcare in the country, is set to begin operation in June 2018.

In 2015, the land locked country launched a 10-year national strategy to develop local pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity in order to increase access to locally manufactured, quality-assured medicines.

According to the World Health Organisation, compared to other low-income countries including those in sub-Saharan Africa, the health status of the East African nation is worse as its population suffer from minor potentially preventable diseases.

The country’s Investment Commission (EIC) noted that Ethiopia purchases 80% of its medicine and medical equipment from abroad, mainly because local pharmaceutical companies are able to provide only 90 of the approximately 380 products on the national list of essential medicines— of which around 20% are produced with imported components.

The industrial park which is being constructed with over 270 hectares of land is financed by the World Bank and is being constructed by China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group.

Upon completion, the park will encompass 18 kms of asphalt roads, provision of basic social services, green spaces, warehouses, business centres and car parking space.

The inception of the park would reduce by far the growing national medicine import expenditure as the health sector is expected to witness a 6.25 percent growth ($1 billion) by the end of the year.

Ethiopia has commissioned 15 industrial parks as part of plan to turn the country into a light manufacturing hub in Africa by 2020.