As the continent of Africa continues to grow, both economically and in terms of a rising population, the demand for accessible healthcare has never been greater. Amongst a host of rapidly developing countries, Ethiopia is considered to be among the fastest growing African nations. The second most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia is home to more than 84 million people and is now beginning to take its place on the global stage.
Julphar first began providing medicines to Ethiopia in 2005. Since then, its reach has significantly grown. Today, Julphar products can be found in major hospitals, clinics and retail pharmacies throughout the country.
The Julphar Ethiopia plant is located in the GerjiJakros region of the Ethiopian capital. A 40,000 square feet facility designed and built by Julphar’s engineering and construction division, the plant is cGMP compliant and is working towards international accreditation.
Constructed in conjunction with Julphar’s local Ethiopian partner, Medtech, the plant itself was a result of the country recognising Africa’s economic importance and the need to deliver increasingly sophisticated pharmaceutical and healthcare facilities across the continent.
The official opening ceremony for the plant was attended by a number of very high level dignitaries including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, HE Haile Mariam Desalegn, Dr Yousif Eissa Hassan Alsabri, UAE Ambassador to the Federal Democratic of Ethiopia, HH Sheikh Faisal Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of Julphar and HH Sheikh Saqr bin Humaid Al Qasimi. Other distinguished attendees included ambassadors from the region, UAE Government representatives including HH Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade and the Ethiopian Minister of Health, HE Dr Kebede Worku.
“Julphar is a real showcase for other companies looking to invest into Ethiopia,” said Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom at the ceremony. “From the start, this project fascinated me. Expansion of the facility was factored into the plans from the beginning and for that we are grateful. We also commend Julphar for bringing international standards to their facility. We hope this facility will strengthen the relationship between our countries even further and hope this will bring future investment from the UAE.”
The Julphar Ethiopia manufacturing facility marks a significant milestone in Julphar’s history and is a major part of its international expansion strategy that will see the company building a truly global footprint.
The pharmaceutical market in Africa is significant and growing, with recent estimates of the continent’s market set at between $8 and $10 billion. In light of this opportunity, Julphar undertook substantial research when developing its Ethiopian facility. The company took great care to examine those therapeutic sectors in the country which are limited or inaccessible in order that the Julphar Ethiopia plant would produce relevant and much needed medicines during its production launch phases.
HE Haile Mariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, made the following statement at the inauguration of the Julphar Ethiopia facility. “Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a growing population. It is important to have tremendous access to quality medicine. I would like to express my appreciation of this project and congratulate HH Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qasimi for the completion of this project.”
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Dr Ayman Sahli, Julphar’s CEO, said: “We are deeply honoured by the presence of Mr Haile Mariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia. His attendance is a clear indication of the strong relationship that already stands between our two countries and we sincerely hope that this relationship continues to grow.” Julphar recognizes that Ethiopia is an extremely interesting, dynamic and important market opportunity. Therefore, Ethiopia’s strategic position within Africa made it an obvious choice for Julphar when it was looking at opportunities to develop a real and tangible presence in this vast continent.
Sahli concluded: “We congratulate the Ethiopian Government for the Millennial Development Goals of Ethiopia, particularly in relation to combating disease. We hope to play a significant role in these goals and ultimately in the development of cutting-edge, 21st century healthcare in Ethiopia. The opening of this facility is a clear indication of our commitment to this country and the region.”
Dr Mohamed Nuri, CEO of Medtech, commented, “Medtech is proud to play a crucial role in the provision of medicines throughout Africa. The opening of this facility will enable us not only to be a vital supplier to the local market but across the whole continent. We have worked in alignment with the Ethiopian government and other global health organisations in the planning of this facility and we are excited about the impact this will have on local healthcare.” Recruitment of 50 local staff is currently underway across areas of quality assurance, quality control, production and maintenance, regulatory affairs and various administration roles. This will cover the initial stage. Further and on-going recruitment will occur as the plant becomes fully operational.
Once fully operational the Julphar plant will produce per annum 25 million bottles of suspension and syrup, 500 million tablets and 200 million capsules. The new plant is equipped with state-of-the-art technology enabling production of Julphar products not only for the local market but also across the African continent. Julphar has invested 170 million birrs in the construction of the plant.
Ethiopia's main health problems are said to be communicable diseases caused by poor sanitation and malnutrition. These problems are exacerbated by the shortage of trained manpower and health facilities. With the launch of Julphar Ethiopia, the people of Ethiopia can look forward to even more accessible medicines in the region.
Written by Will Daynes, research by Richard Halfhide