UNIDO Remarks | At the Launch of the Zim Pharma Strategy
10 June 2021
Successful implementation of the Strategy requires a systematic approach which brings all key stakeholders including the public and the private sector
Honourable Vice President/Minister of Health Dr Chiwenga
Honourable Minister of Industry & Commerce Dr Nzenza
Honourable Ministers here present
Senior Government officials
Senior Colleagues representing various Business Associations
On behalf of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the UN Country Team in Zimbabwe, it gives me great pleasure to be invited to witness the launch of the Pharma Manufacturing Strategy 2021 – 2025. The Pharma Strategy is one of the 10 projects developed with TA from UNIDO under the Zimbabwe/UNIDO CP 4 ISID 2017 – 2021. These 10 projects have been captured for potential funding and implementation under NDS 1 and the UNSDCF for Zimbabwe.
The journey we have travelled so far, has indeed been quite long and sometimes very frustrating, to say the least. I recall that this journey started 12 years ago, when we managed to pursued UNIDO project manager to have Zimbabwe included in the Global UNIDO Project: “Strengthening the local production of essential generic drugs in least developed and developing countries”. That project was funded by Germany and focused on local production of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria drugs.
Thus, in 2011, UNIDO produced the “Pharmaceutical Sector Profile: Zimbabwe”. This publication enabled GoZ through the Ministry of Industry & Commerce, to seek further TA from UNIDO for the sector.
In 2017/18, UNIDO provided TA to Zimbabwe, which resulted in the draft “Sector Development Strategy for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing in Zimbabwe: 2017 - 2022”. We understand that that draft Strategy formed the basis of the Pharma Manufacturing Strategy in Zimbabwe 2021 -2025, which is being launched today.
We are also happy that Government of Zimbabwe, led by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry have taken this major leap of faith to timely launch this strategy, which I am sure will also address local production of PPEs and medicines required for COVID 19 Pandemic.
Hon VP Chiwenga and Hon Dr Nzenza, may I take the liberty to assume that your presence here today confirms that;
First, Government now clearly accepts that the pandemics ravaging our country and continent, i.e. COVID 19; HIV/AIDS; TB; and MALARIA are not only mere Health problems but are also great business opportunities for both Government and local Business sector to take advantage of;
Second, For this Home grown strategy to be implemented and have significant health and economic outcomes and tangible impact, Government recognizes the need to invest its own resources and quality time in the medium to long-term.
Government leadership is therefore very key;
starting with this launch,
taking the next crucial step of mobilising own resources (from fiscus),
leveraging donor resources for this intervention (i.e. to include from the Global Fund, Health fund and others),
supporting Natpharm’s market making role to include preferential purchases of local manufactured drugs,
investing in a state-of-the-art Health (Medicines & Equipment) Info System for market intelligence,
providing targeted and time sensitive export incentives for pharma firms including the proposed SEZ status,
systematically capacitate key sector institutions, i.e. MCAZ, Schools of Pharmacy and research institutions, etc.
Third, Successful implementation of the Strategy requires a systematic approach which brings all key stakeholders to include both the public and the private sector. Our experience, lessons learnt and expertise gained when we were providing technical assistance during the development of the draft Pharma Strategy, showed that Public Private sector dialogue, at the highest technical/decision making level, makes development sense and is indeed a great investment, time and resource wise.
With these few words, I would like to congratulate Government of Zimbabwe and PMA for launching this Pharma Strategy. UNIDO is as always ready to provide technical assistance when called upon to do so and when resources to fund such technical assistance is made available.