Uganda heightens plans for setting up pharmaceutical industrial park

Uganda has heightened plans to set up the first pharmaceutical industrial park in the region.

This was revealed recently by a senior official from the Ministry of Health who revealed that government had already allocated land to private investors for the park.

Dr. Martha Grace Ajulong, the Assistant Commissioner of the Pharmaceuticals and Natural Medicines, told media the land had been secured in the central region district of Nakasongola.

The development comes hardly two years after various investors in the United Kingdom expressed interest in establishing a pharmaceutical industrial park in Uganda.

In May 2022, the health ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine,  first announced plans by UK based companies to establish the park.

She had just concluded a working visit to the UK, where she attended the UK East Africa Health Summit at the British Medical Association (BMA) House in London.

The UK East Africa Summit was convened by several UK institutions that included; The Wellcome Trust, British Medical Journal, NHS Health Education England as well as the different diaspora associations of East Africa.

“Dr Atwine presented Uganda’s health sector priorities and investment opportunities that are contained in the current Health Sector Development Plan (2020/2021-2024/2025) as she mobilised for UK led global health partnerships to work with the Ministry of Health in achieving these priorities,” the ministry said then.

After the UK East Africa Health Summit, Dr Atwine and her delegation attended the Health Investment round table meeting hosted by Lord Dolar Popat who doubles as the UK Trade Envoy to Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. The meeting was also attended by notable UK companies in the life sciences industry who indicated their interest in investing in Uganda’s Health Sector especially in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

“We held a good meeting with the House of Lords, the second chamber of the UK Parliament. Key on agenda was a discussion on the ongoing plans for establishment of the Uganda Pharmaceutical Industrial Park in Nakasongola by investors from UK,” Dr Atwine said.

According to Dr Atwiine, the East African Region remains highly import-dependent with over 70% of its Pharmaceutical Products.

Uganda alone imports over 80% of its medical supplies with pharmaceutical expenditure growing at 8.4 per annum, the PS noted.

“The PHARMA park will provide the standard environment for pharmaceutical manufacturing while creating an industrial Cluster for value chain of pharmaceutical manufacturing. This will provide jobs, cut government expenditure on importation among other values to the economy,” she added.

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