Rwanda selected to host headquarters of African Medicines Agency

KIGALI, RWANDA - APRIL 04: Streets are seen empty due to the precautions taken against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Kigali, Rwanda on April 04, 2020. (Photo by Cyril Ndegeya/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Rwanda will host the headquarters of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), the African Union (AU) announced on Sunday.

The decision was arrived at following a meeting of the AU Executive Council during the African Union Fourth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting in the Zambian capital Lusaka.

FILE PHOTO: A view of Kigali, Rwanda. /Getty Images

The AMA will be the second specialized health agency of the AU after the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), which is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The AMA is expected to support the growth of local pharmaceutical production, evaluate medical products for the treatment of priority diseases as determined by the AU and regularly inspect, coordinate and share information about products that are authorised for marketing.

It is also expected to coordinate joint reviews of clinical trial applications for vaccines and assessment of “highly complex” product dossiers and coordinate joint inspections of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) manufacturing sites, among other functions.

In a statement, the AU said the AMA will enhance capacity of state parties and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to “regulate medical products, to improve Africa’s access to quality safe, and efficacious medical products.”

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)