ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 25 — Namibia becomes the fifth African Union (AU) member to ratify the treaty for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), the AU Commission disclosed on Tuesday.
The Southern Africa country deposited the instrument of accession to the AU Commission, making the country the first AU member from the Southern Africa region to ratify the continental treaty.
Speaking during the official deposit of the instrument, Emilia Ndinealo Mkusa, Permanent Representative of Namibia to the AU and Ambassador to Ethiopia, affirmed the critical role that the continental treaty will play in making essential medicines and medical products accessible in Africa.
The envoy also underscored the need for all AU members to ratify the treaty while emphasizing that Namibia will advocate and support in mobilizing the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states to ratify AMA.
According to the AU, the AMA will be the second continental health agency, next to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), which will enhance the capacity of African countries as well as regional economic communities to regulate medical products in order to improve access to quality, safe and efficacious medical products on the continent.
The treaty is also expected to promote the adoption and harmonization of medical products regulatory policies and standards, as well as scientific guidelines, and coordinate existing regulatory harmonization efforts in the AU recognized and regional organizations.
The treaty is also said to complement the work of the Africa CDC, mainly through the provision of technical support in the quality control of drugs, at the request of members, which do not have the structures to carry out these examinations, controls, and checks.
The AU Commission further called on all African countries to ratify and deposit the instrument of ratification to the commission, at the earliest, in the interest of continental public health, safety, and security.
The African Medicines Agency will enter into force once ratified by the minimum expected threshold of 15 African countries.