COVID-19 has greatly disrupted our supply chains. The measures to contain the pandemic have triggered unprecedented measures by national governments that have caused local and global trade disruptions. This has threatened our supply chains not only for the management of COVID-19 itself, but also for all essential commodities that we need to maintain the health of our populations.
With imports comprising as much as 70-90% of healthcare products consumed in most countries in Africa, it is important that we consider an increase in the local production of these products as a way to create stronger and more resilient healthcare systems. Taking pharmaceuticals as an example of the continent’s reliance on imports – most countries are uncompetitive for local pharmaceutical production and only a small number of African countries have a handful of local companies who produce for the domestic market.