Cooper Pharma, a Moroccan pharmaceutical company, will on Friday launch the construction of an antibiotics plant in Rwanda.
The plant will be built on a plot of 20,000 square meters at the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District.
This project is among the 21 deals that were signed between Morocco and Rwanda in October 2016 during a 3-day visit of King Mohammed VI to Rwanda.
The projects were grouped into eight categories including; business, agriculture, politics, infrastructure, education, health, social welfare and security.
Of these projects, Rwanda and Morocco sealed a deal to invest in pharmaceutical industry, and the Moroccan Cooper Pharma, a renowned producer of antibiotics among other drugs, committed to set up its facility at the Special Economic Zone.
Already exporting to 21 countries across the world, Cooper Pharma said it wanted to make Rwanda a strategic store for East Africa.
On October 17th, this year, the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) launched a Medical and pharmaceutical laboratory, saying that it was being upgraded to have capacity of testing stronger drugs.
RSB said that by December this year, the newly introduced ‘Medical and pharmaceutical laboratory’ will have capacity to test 100 types of medicine from 35 types since July when the laboratory started its operations.
“We have new machines that will do that work starting with essential medicines including; anti-Malaria, antiretroviral, anti-Tuberculosis and antibiotics,” Raymond Murenzi, Director General of Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) told KT Press.
RSB and Ministry of Health in 2014 jointly set up a Rwf4 billion ‘Medical and pharmaceutical laboratory’ that analyzes imported and locally manufactured medicines and ascertain their quality and efficacy.
According to RSB, substandard medicine has been identified especially in developing countries and poses a serious health threat because of limited regulation and inspection.
“There are foreign pharmaceutical companies interested in having branches in Rwanda but were blocked by lack of testing facilities, we hope that now they have a good reason to come,” Murenzi said.
Among interested companies there was GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British multinational, one of the ten largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and Cooper Pharma, a Moroccan pharmaceutical laboratory