Zambia: Global Gateway & Team Europe in action! Our partnership towards local pharmaceutical production materialises!

On 1-3 March, the Zambian Ministry of Health and the EUD to Zambia and COMESA hosted a first ever Zambia-EU Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Forum under the theme of “Strengthening Healthcare through Local Pharmaceutical Manufacturing”. It gathered over 600 participants from Europe, Zambia and the region representing pharmaceutical industry (over 50 companies), potential investors, financial institutions, government, cooperating partners, diplomatic missions and civil society.

The Forum represents a key milestone of the Zambian Government's Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Initiative (ZPMI) driven by private sector and supported since its inception by the Team Europe Initiative on MAV+ (Manufacturing and Access to Vaccines, Medicines and Health Technologies).

The President of Zambia, H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, graced the Forum with his presence and reaffirmed his strong commitment to "realising Zambia’s ambition and full potential of becoming a producer and eventually an exporter of pharmaceutical products in the region and beyond".

The EU Ambassador, H.E. Jacek Jankowski, emphasised that "linking up the European and Zambian pharmaceutical and medical companies and investors should be a critical driver to help translate the ZPMI into concrete and fruitful investments".

The Forum was a valuable platform that offered:

  • Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Government (B2G) exchanges and networking,
  • Panel discussions and presentations that helped better understand the Zambian business environment and the global framework for local manufacturing in Africa, and
  • Field visits to manufacturing plants and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) to further explore the potential and capacities of the existing pharmaceutical industry in Zambia.

The Forum also created an important momentum for Zambian and EU companies that lead to concrete business deals. A MoU to set up a high-tech production health hub for medicines and vaccines was signed between the Zambian company Pharmanova and the Spanish Fredlab, with other European players also on board, notably German Rommelag and Bdv Behrens.