Blantyre – Zimbabwe has signed the African Medicine Agency (AMA) Treaty, becoming the 19th African Union member to do so.
At the official signing of the treaty this week, AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Ms Amira Elfadil Mohammed underscored the importance of establishing the agency that seeks to harmonise and improve the production of pharmaceutical products across the continent.
She said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to accelerate the establishment of AMA and it is a top priority for the Commisision in order to bridge the gap in pharmaceutical industries.”
Zimbabwe’s chief representative to to the AU and Ethiopia, Ambassdor Taonga Mushayavanhu reiterated the importance of AMA in synchronising pharmaceutical systems and establishing a mechanism to control the illegal trade in unauthorised medicines on the continent.
AMA will, among other functions, designate, promote, strengthen, co-ordinate and monitor Regional Centres of Regulatory Excellence (RCOREs) with a view to developing the capacity of medical products regulatory professionals.
The agency will also promote co-operation, partnerships and recognition of regulatory decisions in support of regional structures and National Medicines Regulatory Authorities, and take into account mobilisation of financial and technical resources to ensure sustainability of the AMA.
The African Medicine Agency, will enter into force once ratified by fifteen African Union member states. To date, instruments of ratification have been deposited by six member states, with Zimbabwe expected to do so soon.