Zimbabwe: Zim Inks Drugs Deal in Dubai Golden Sibanda, Dubai, UAE
Government on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with one of Dubai's largest pharmaceutical companies, Intrapharm Group, which could see the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based drugs company setting up a production plant and distribution base in Zimbabwe.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, in the company of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, secretary for Industry and Commerce Dr Mavis Gumbo and Zimbabwe's Ambassador to the UAE Lovemore Mazemo, signed the MoU on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe.
Intrapharm Group chairman, Engineer Ahmad Yousef Ibrahim, signed on behalf of the Dubai pharmaceutical products marketing and distribution company. Minister Ncube said the agreement with Intrapharm would bolster Zimbabwe's position as a regional hub in the supply of pharmaceutical products.
VP Chiwenga, who witnessed the signing ceremony at the plush Burj Armani Hotel, which is housed at the iconic and world's tallest building- the Burj Khalifa, is in the UAE's cosmopolitan city of Dubai where he is leading a delegation of five Cabinet Ministers.
These include Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu and Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka.
The VP is in the UAE, chiefly, to attend the Global Business Forum Africa (GBFA), which kicked off yesterday and ends today, running on the sidelines of Expo 2020 Dubai, which is the first world expo to be held in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The expo started on October 1, 2021 and ends in March next year.
"We are pleased to be partnering and cooperating with Intrapharm Group here in the UAE," Minister Ncube said, adding "the pharmaceutical sector in Zimbabwe needs a boost. "I think the advent of Covid-19 and other challenges have made it clearer to us that we need to boost it," the Minister said.
The Treasury chief said Zimbabwe's pharmaceutical situation was the reason the Government launched the pharmaceutical and health sector development strategies, both which seek to address the need to grow this critical sub-sector.
The negative impact of the coronavirus, which caused national governments globally to shutdown economies and restrict movement to contain the disease, on global medical consumables supply chains highlighted the need for Zimbabwe to localise the production of pharmaceuticals.
The new policy strategy, dubbed "Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Strategy In Zimbabwe 2021-2025", launched by VP Chiwenga, who is also Health and Child Care Minister recently, aims to address some of the challenges besetting the industry, including by doubling production of essential drugs to 60 percent of domestic needs.