Zinga Pharmaceutical Limited is expected to build a Sh70billion pharmaceutical factory in Bagamoyo District, Pwani Region in Tanzania. This has been made possible through a loan secured by UTT Asset Management and Investor Services (UTT AMIS).
The construction project is scheduled to take about 18 months, depending on when funds will be released. When it’s completed, essential drugs such as Anti-Retroviral (ARVs) and anti-malaria drugs, will now be produced locally.
Tanzania currently has 13 pharmaceutical industries whose total production capacity covers a mere 20 per cent of the country’s demand for medicines. The government spends over 100 million US dollars (over 200bn/-) annually to import drugs.
Without a well-developed pharmaceutical sector, it is projected that Tanzania will incur cost worth at least USD 350 million (about Sh800 billion) on drug imports from abroad by the year 2021, data from the government show.
During the launching of the project on March 31st 2017, the Director and Founder of the “Zinga Pharmaceuticals Factory,” project, Dr Mary Mayige, said that the drug factory would help to transform healthcare settings of the country and save the costs incurred on importation of medicines.
“This factory will produce high quality essential drugs. The aim is to complement the government’s efforts to improve industrial sector and to make Tanzania a middle income economy,” she said.
Dr Mayige, a specialist in diabetes, said complaints of shortage medicines and the increasing cases of counterfeits drugs on the market were among the factors that catalysed the establishment of the pharmaceutical industry, which occupies about 17,000 square meters of land in Bagamoyo’s Zinga area.
Data from the Medical Stores Department (MSD) show that 80 percent of medicines used in health facilities in Tanzania and 100 percent of laboratory reagents are imported.
Dr Mayige said the envisaged pharmaceutical factory’s production capacity is 970 million tablets and 120 million ARVs per year. “We will produce quality products through the use high German technology,” she emphasized.
In November 2016, the Minister of Trade and Investments, Charles Mwijage, told Parliament that six companies had expressed interest to invest in local pharmaceutical production.
Mr Mwijage named the potential investors as JNS Solution, which is expected to make Intravenous (IV) Fluids and China Dalian International Economic Development Group Co. Limited that will bring in a medical equipment factory.
Zinga Pharmaceutical Limited was also named among the expected investors. Others mentioned were Boryung Pharmaceuticals Co Limited, a Korean company that manufactures antibiotics, the Aga Khan Foundation Network as well as Hainan Hualon for production of medicines.