KIGALI, June 11 (Xinhua) — Rwanda and the African Union (AU) have signed a host country agreement for the African Medicines Agency (AMA), paving the way for the beginning of operations of the newly launched continental regulatory body for medical products.
Rwandan Minister of Health Sabin Nsanzimana signed the agreement Saturday on behalf of his government while African Union Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Minata Samate Cessouma, signed on behalf of the AU at a ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city.
“AMA will play a key role in building confidence in the quality of health products on the continent, promote cooperation and mutual recognition in regulatory decisions and facilitate the movement of health products,” Nsanzimana said.
The signing ceremony came days after the Rwandan cabinet endorsed the hosting of the agency’s headquarters as well as allocation of state land, where the agency will operate. Cessouma, hailed Rwanda for its commitment to promoting the country’s health, saying AMA will contribute enormously to the production and distribution of medicine on the continent.
Rwanda was selected to host the agency during a 2022 African Union’s executive council meeting in Lusaka, Zambia. Nsanzimana said Saturday’s signing was another step to move the ideas from paper to implementation. The specialized agency of the AU will facilitate pandemic preparedness, expand access to medicines, support collaboration among regulators and build resilient health systems, according to officials.
A number of African Union member states have ratified the treaty establishing the continental agency and deposited the legal instrument of ratification to the AU Commission.