Local manufacturing in Africa


We support the African Union’s development agency, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), in helping to improve Africa’s local manufacturing capacity for medicines, nets and vaccines across the continent. Guided by the African Union’s Agenda 2063, this work is set out in the AUDA-NEPAD’s Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa.

Local manufacturing is vital to ensuring affordability and accessibility to medicines

Over 70% of all Africa’s public health commodities for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria are procured from outside of the continent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, African countries experienced severe supply chain disruptions to health commodities and were therefore impacted by export bans and restrictions.

Several challenges (technical, financial and policy) continue to limit the local manufacturing of malaria and other health commodities in Africa, including:

  • high labour costs
  • scarcity of available expertise
  • high taxes on imported raw materials, while imported finished commodities are exempt from tax
  • unfavourable foreign currency policies
  • weak regulatory frameworks
  • different registration procedures across African countries to bring new products (particularly vector control products) to market
  • lack of assurance of regional and international markets

Dealing with these challenges and improving local manufacturing in Africa can lead to:

  • improved health outcomes for citizens through equitable access to medicines, nets and vaccines
  • economic benefits by supporting African manufacturers in the production of these commodities and increasing local expertise
  • the discovery and development of new tools and commodities

It is important that African governments support local innovation, working closely with all sectors to achieve scalable and equitable access, and boost investments to discover and develop the next generation of malaria commodities.

What we are doing to improve local manufacturing capacity

We are uniquely placed to support the manufacturing of life-saving commodities in Africa and the implementation of the AUDA-NEPAD’s Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa. Through our advocacy efforts, we:

  • ensure local manufacturing is aligned to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and other development goals
  • identify opportunities to address gaps and bottlenecks
  • increase investment in local manufacturing
  • support technology transfer to stimulate the development of innovative tools and commodities

Successes so far

Through our partnerships with AUDA-NEPAD, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and other organisations, we continue to make progress in improving Africa’s local manufacturing capacity.

Assessment of Kenya’s local manufacturing capabilities

His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta (former President of the Republic of Kenya and former ALMA chair from 2020 to 2022) and the Kenya End Malaria Council commissioned an assessment of the development and local manufacture of malaria commodities in Kenya and the country’s readiness to scale up manufacturing capabilities.

Improving the environment for collaboration

We have supported the creation of an enabling environment for the:

Supporting technology transfer

We are facilitating technology transfer (bringing together different stakeholders) to produce novel second generation insecticide-treated nets, the development of a business plan and business case for investing in these technology transfers.

Helping a manufacturer attain World Health Organization prequalification

We are supporting a local manufacturer to achieve the World Health Organization’s prequalification for malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs) to help them access international and regional markets for their commodities.

Tracking countries’ ratification of the African Medicine Agency

The African Medicine Agency (AMA) will provide a mechanism to support local manufacturing and access to commodities. We are tracking the signing and ratification of the Treaty for the Establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA) by African countries in the continental ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action.

Contact us

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our local manufacturing work or partner with us on this important work.