The Localisation of Medical Manufacturing in Africa

Banda, Geoffrey; Mugwagwa, Julius; Mackintosh, Maureen and Mkwashi, Andrew (2022). The Localisation of Medical Manufacturing in Africa. IEJ Research Reports; Institute for Economic Justice, Johannesburg, South Africa.



This report emanates from a study commissioned by the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ), a South African-based think tank. It was carried out between August 2021 and September 2022. With the IEJ, the researchers sought to answer the following main research question: "How best can African countries harness and deploy lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic and from other relevant local manufacturing experience, to develop and enhance sustainable capabilities for local manufacturing of medical health products?"

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed that fractures in global pharmaceutical and medical value chains can affect any country; what differs is how countries respond through harnessing or repurposing available capabilities.

The main issues emerging from this study point to the need for deliberate, holistic, agile and consistent policies that can stimulate and sustain local production of products for the medical sector. There is the need for dedicated investment to generate the required range and levels of competencies, capabilities, and skills for different points of the value chain, including abilities to scale up. There is also the need for leadership capabilities, which will limit the fragmentation that can be caused by external influences or agendas driven from outside the countries or continent. External resources – financial, policy, and intellectual – are still required, but what is key are local structures and strategies for deployment of those resources. With poorly structured, poorly resourced and poorly functioning local structures, there will be limited prospects for sustainable local manufacturing, as has been the case.

The findings and analysis revealed that Africa urgently needs to broaden and deepen its medical health technology manufacturing capabilities if it is to enhance local health security, become pandemic and epidemic ready, and contribute to global health security. In addition, there is great scope for using the medical device, drug and vaccine sectors to accelerate industry and economic development, as well as contributing to better availability of life-saving medicines and other technologies.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions