General News of Tuesday, 7 March 2017
The government of Nana Addo Dakwa Akufo-Addo has the vision of turning Ghana into a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in Africa by creating the enabling environment for both local and foreign companies to thrive, Kweku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health, has said.
To realise this dream, he said the government would provide incentives for local pharmaceutical companies to grow to become more competitive on both the local and international market.
Speaking at the opening of the head office of Johnson & Johnson in Accra on Tuesday 7 March, Mr Agyemang-Manu said: “I am particularly happy about the choice of Ghana as your head office. The vision of our government and the President, His Excellency Akufo-Addo, is to build a favourable business environment so that Ghana will be seen as a preferred destination for investment, not just in West Africa but in Africa as a whole, and I believe your presence at this time is only the beginning of the realisation of that vision.
“One of the government’s key priorities is to provide accessible and affordable quality health care for all. This will be done through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which is the largest provider and financier of healthcare in the country, and through other interventions.
“The proper and efficient functioning of our healthcare systems to ensure a healthy population at all times to pursue our development agenda cannot be overemphasised. It is for this reason that the government has taken the decision to restructure and refinance the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure that it functions effectively and makes healthcare affordable to all Ghanaians.
“Government also recognises that it cannot deliver its healthcare priorities alone and as such believes in the private sector as the engine of growth. We are mindful of the role that private entities can play to help speed up the realisation of our healthcare priorities in the area of pharmaceuticals. It is the vision and commitment of government to support our local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to provide the majority of our medicines as possible.
“Government in the course of this year will provide additional incentives to our local manufacturers to enable them grow and become competitive. Our vision is to establish Ghana as a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub for West Africa. In view of this, I will like to invite you ‘Johnson & Johnson’ to either set up a manufacturing facility in Ghana or partner with any of the local manufacturers to produce some of your products right here in Ghana. Government will be willing to assist to ensure that such an initiative is delivered smoothly.”