Panafrican News Agency

Zimbabwe endorses African Union medicines agency treaty

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Zimbabwe has become the 11th. member-state of the African Union to deposit its instrument of ratification of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), the AU Commission said here Saturday.

Zimbabwe ratified the treaty for the establishment of AMA on 31 August, 2021, in Harare, Zimbabwe, and deposited the instrument of accession to the AU Commission on 17 September 2021.

Sabelo Mbokazi, Head of Labor, Employment and Migration, at the Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development (HHS) Directorate, African Union Commission, received the instrument from the Zimbabwe delegation, the Commission said.

Speaking during the official deposit, the ambassador of Zimbabwe to Ethiopia and the African Union, Taonga Mushayavanhu, noted that the deposit would add to the number of deposits required to meet the expected target of 15 deposits for the treaty to come into force.

“Zimbabwe is looking forward to the operationalization of AMA and to contribute to the important role that the Agency will play in the standardization and regulation of medicines and medical products in the continent,” the ambassador said.

The ratification and deposit of the instrument follows a high-level advocacy engagement between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Michel Sidibé, the African Union Special Envoy for the AMA, on 18 May, 2021, in Harare.

The Agency’s main function will be to promote the use of quality assured, safe and efficacious medicines, medical products and medical technologies in Africa.

AMA will also monitor the medicines market through the collection of samples in every State Party to ensure the quality of selected drugs, has them analyzed and provide the results to State Parties and other interested parties, who will thus have reliable information on the quality of the drugs circulating in their countries and, where necessary, take appropriate measures.

Seventeen member-states have ratified the AMA Treaty and 12 of these have deposited the instruments of ratification to the Commission.

The AMA Treaty will enter into Force 30 days upon the deposit of the 15th instrument of ratification at the Commission.

Pending the deposit of ratification, the Commission has invited member-states to submit proposals for the hosting of the Africa Medicines Agency Headquarters.

The Commission has also further extended the deadline for submission of interest to host the AMA up to 15 October 2021 per the ruling of the PRC on 6 September 2021.

The Commission expects to have the establishment and operationalization of the AMA in full progress in 2022.

The African Union Commission encourages all its member-states to sign and ratify the treaty for the establishment of AMA in the interest of public health, safety and security.

The treaty is available for signature at the headquarters of the Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU said.

-0- PANA AO/RA 18Sept2021