Africa Health ExCon to help Egypt become pharmaceutical hub: UK ambassador

Doaa A.Moneim , Thursday 17 Feb 2022

The organisation of the Africa Health ExCon (AHE) in Egypt is a golden opportunity for the country to become a hub for exporting pharmaceutical products to Africa, said Gareth Baley, the British ambassador to Egypt.

During the MoU signing event held in Cairo on Thursday

The AHE is a pharmaceutical exhibition that will be held in Egypt for the first time from 5 to 7 June. 

The UK is anticipating the Cairo event, Baley added on Thursday during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the multinational company AstraZeneca and the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement (UPA) to sponsor the AHE.

He added that Egypt needs to build partnerships with the private sector, noting that the British companies are ready to support and cooperate with Egypt in the healthcare sector.

“We believe that Egypt can be a hub for Africa and the Middle East region as well in the pharmaceutical sector. Also, there is an ambition for its pharmaceutical exports to reach European countries,” he added.

Baley pointed out that the UK is cooperating with Egypt through the World Bank on two key grounds, including the universal health insurance system and the national map for vaccine distribution.

Based on the MoU, AstraZeneca will sponsor the upcoming AHE which seeks to enhance trade relations, ensure knowledge transfer, and support foreign direct investment in support of African healthcare systems.

The agreement also builds on a previous MoU that supports the training of over 1,000 pharmacists across Egypt.

The MoU was signed by Hatem El-Werdany, country president of AstraZeneca Egypt, and Omar Abdel-Aziz, technical office manager at the UPA, in the presence of Bahaa El-Din Zidan, head of the UPA, Swedish Ambassador to Egypt Håkan Emsgård, and Pelin Incesu, area vice president of the Middle East and Africa at AstraZeneca.

Zidan stated that the MoU is a continuation of the efforts of the authority to open new horizons and areas of cooperation between all partners to develop and enhance the Egyptian and African health systems.

He added that the AHE is in line with Egypt’s efforts in the medical sector, especially with the participation of a global pioneer in the pharmaceutical industry such as AstraZeneca.

He pointed out that the forum is meant to link the medical systems in African countries under one umbrella, enhance trade relations, support foreign direct investment, create new job opportunities, and guarantee a high level of knowledge transfer.

“Our signing today reinforces our commitment to the Egyptian government and the UPA, and highlights our position as a central partner to the Africa Health ExCon in June later this year – an event we know will be a critical milestone for us both, as well as the African continent in general. I’m really looking forward to seeing how our partnership continues to grow in 2022, and look forward to the Africa Health ExCon event in June to learn more from other companies and partners and together identify solutions for us to drive health innovation across Africa, and Egypt,” said Incesu. 

Emsgård said that Egypt is a strategic partner for Sweden in the Middle East and Africa, thanks to the country's development during the past few years.

He added that Egypt is a pivotal player in the region, building strong partnerships with various countries to achieve its sustainable development goals, the same goals that Sweden seeks to attain with many countries.

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