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Gates Foundation and EU to Fund Part of the Development of Drug Regulators in Africa

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The European Union (EU) and the Gates Foundation will mobilize more than 100 million dollars over the next five years to support the recently created African Medicines Agency (AMA) and other regional and national African initiatives for the regulation of medicines, the European Commission (EC) announced on Tuesday.

The EC executive explained in a statement that the support will come from the EC itself, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Member States Belgium, France and Germany, and will represent a “strong signal of support” for the work of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA NEPAD) in support of medicines regulators and to improve health security on the African continent.

The commitments announced Tuesday will help the African Medicines Agency (AMA) “take its first steps on the continent and develop African drug regulatory capacity at both regional and national levels,” the EC said.

It added that the funds are intended to foster collaboration and exchange of expertise between the EMA and the AMA and to help a number of national regulatory authorities on the continent meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) minimum requirements for effective regulatory oversight of local production of quality vaccines.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide funding to the AMA, regional economic communities and some national regulatory authorities, as well as a number of technical partners.

The announcement comes on the eve of the sixth EU-AU Summit, during which the European Union and the African Union will discuss in Brussels this week, among other issues, joint efforts to mitigate the public health effects of COVID-19 and provide better healthcare in the future, as well as strengthening the partnership to enable better preparedness and response to such a crisis.

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