Prime Minister Strikes Major Pharmaceutical Deal With Rwanda

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s press conference at the Grantley Adams International Airport – November 15, 2022. (Photo credit: PMO Barbados)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has secured a major “game-changer” by striking a deal with the Rwandan Government that would see the creation of a new pharmaceutical industry, the first of its kind for the region.

She is also optimistic that when fully operational, emphasis would be placed specifically on creating cancer treatment medications, vaccines, and drugs for women’s reproductive health care issues and the creation of over 4,000 jobs for Barbadians over the next five years.

Ms. Mottley made the announcement yesterday evening during a press conference at the Grantley Adams International Airport to update the media about the outcomes of her recent travels to the United Nations’ (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Egypt, the official visit to Rwanda and South Africa, and to some extent events in New York and London.

The Prime Minister told reporters that the agreements struck with the Rwandan government was “the biggest game-changer” for Barbados.

“…. Perhaps the biggest game changer since we have come to office is about to unfold and we have been working on it very quietly for the last six months or so, and that is addressing the issue of pharmaceutical equity and creating a platform for jobs, investment and earnings for a pharmaceutical industry in Barbados for the first time. 

“I’m not sure if people understand how complex it is to establish the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. First and foremost, the regulatory framework is extremely complex and that is the first thing that we will be engaged in over the course of the next nine to 12 months or so,” Ms. Mottley stated while pointing out that Barbados would be working together with Guyana in establishing the industry.

The Prime Minister also informed media representatives that the Government of Rwanda, the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Susan Buffett Foundation had already pledged to assist Barbados in creating the industry.

Ms. Mottley stressed: “This has been a major, major, major achievement for a small state like Barbados, to be able to locate itself centre of the Americas as a location for the development of a pharmaceutical industry.

“We will create the regulatory framework for these things to happen. What is at stake is potentially at least 4,000 to 5,000 jobs in the next four to five years in Barbados, but the platform for it has started from as early as April of this year and the fact that the joint communique involves the president of the European Union, the president of the European Investment Bank, the president of Rwanda, the president of Guyana, the Director General of the WHO, the head of the Susan Buffett Foundation and myself tells you that this is not speculative, that this is serious work in action.”

The Prime Minister further disclosed that the head of the Rwandan Food and Drug Administration has been in Barbados for the past seven weeks and preliminary work with officials from the Barbados Drug Service and Ministry of Health and Wellness had already started.  

Author: Julie Carrington/BGIS


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