On Tuesday 5 October, Cameroon became the 15th member state of the African Union to deposit the instrument of ratification for the Treaty for the creation of the African Medicines Agency (AMA) alongside Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leona and Zimbabwe.
The objective set by the African Union and its Special envoy Michel Sidibé has been achieved: the treaty will enter into force on the 5 November, a crucial step to address to the sanitary and security emergency Africa faces.
"Today is a historic day. #Cameroon became the 15 country to deposit the instrument of ratification of the African Medicines Agency. Now, the treaty will enter into force in 30 days (Nov 5). #AMA is a game change on our continent." Tweet and picture from Michel Sidibé, Special Envoy of the African Union, 5 October 2021.
Since the adoption of the treaty in February 2019 by the 32nd session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government, the African Union and its special envoy Michel Sidibé have increased their efforts to advocate for the cause of a better regulation and easier access to qualitative medical products. In total, 26 member states out of 55 have expressed their engagement by signing and/or ratifying the treaty (see infographic of the African Union down below).
As a reminder, on average, 20% of medicines on the continent would be counterfeit or substandard. The intrusion of these medicines is facilitated by the weakness of the pharmaceutical supply chain, notably due to a very low local production (only 3% of medicines produced on the continent). The implementation of this instrument will allow the strengthening of the supply chain integrity, and the framing on national action plans for signatory states of the Lomé Initiative.
"The effects of corruption on the pharmaceutical supply chain", infographic available via the five-year report of the Brazzaville Foundation
The Brazzaville Foundation, technical coordinator of the Lomé Initiative commends on the progress for the project of creation of the AMA. The political declaration of the Lomé Initiative forecasts the ratification of the AMA treaty by signatory states.