The ECOWAS Commission has signed a protocol agreement with the African Development Bank on a project to support the development of the pharmaceutical industry in the region. The signing ceremony, which took place at the African Development Bank (AfBD) headquarters in Abuja, had in attendance representatives from both institutions.

n his welcoming remarks, Mr. Lamin Barrow, the Director-General of the African Development Bank (AfBD) said the agreement was for the provision of a $3.56 Million grant to support West Africa’s pharmaceutical industry. He stated that “the bank has been a key partner of the ECOWAS Commission, providing financial and technical assistance to Member States to support the implementation of ECOWAS’ regional integration agenda”. He added that the bank’s active portfolio in West Africa consists of 350 projects for a total commitment value of $15.5 Billion. Further elaborating on the need for the agreement, he said that the intervention aims to reduce the heavy reliance on imported pharmaceutical products from South East Asia which accounts for about 70 percent, with local vaccine production accounting for around 1 percent of the domestic demand. While reaffirming the bank’s continued support to ECOWAS, he urged WAHO, as the implementing agency of the grant, to ensure judicious use of the fund towards building a resilient healthcare system in the region.

in his response, The Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector at ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Mamadou Traore, thanked the bank for the provision of the grant and expressed deep gratitude for the cooperation between the AfDB and the various ECOWAS Institutions. He added that the signing of today’s agreement has further cemented the solid relationship between these great institutions particularly towards the development of the automotive and pharmaceutical industry in the region. He promised on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission and WAHO the tow implementation institutions to make good use of the grant.