Heavy imports hampering industrial development – AGI President

Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi, AGI President

High production costs, underdeveloped infrastructure, absence of new technologies/equipment for productivity enhancement, weak regulations and institutions and unfair competition from foreign markets make it difficult for Ghana’s pharmaceutical industries to thrive.

President of the Association of Ghana Industries made the observation at the 29th Anniversary Celebration of the African Industrialisation Day on November 20.

Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi further stated: “Ghanaian pharmaceutical products, obviously have good potential in Ghana and the entire sub-region and even beyond, but due to challenges in our business environment, we tend to import so much instead of making frantic effort to produce them in Ghana to further our industrial development agenda.”

The 2018 Industrialisation Day had the theme: Promoting Regional Value Chains in Africa: A pathway for accelerating Africa’s structural transformation, industrialisation and pharmaceutical production.

In a message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared the development of a competitive and sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Africa can help promote better health and well-being and sustainable economic growth.

Dr. Gyamfi bemoaned the low patronage of locally produced medicine or capsules submitting if the local companies continue to produce without the population’s patronage, there would be job losses and fold-ups affecting poverty eradication, employment and wealth creation efforts.

Entrance Pharmaceuticals and Research Centre Managing Director, Mr. Kwadwo Asare Twerefour stated pharmaceuticals sales in Ghana reached US$302million in 2016, estimated to rise to US$590million in 2026, adding that it provided a good opportunity for local pharmaceutical industries to strategically position themselves for access and growth.

It is hoped the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III) can help improve Ghana’s pharmaceutical fortunes.

An African Development Bank, World Bank and World Health Organisation study places Africa’s pharmaceutical industry’s estimation at US$20.8 billion in 2013 from US$4.7 billion a decade earlier.

It is estimated that by 2020, the annual market’s worth of US$40 billion will increase to US$65 billion.