Proparco is supporting local pharmaceuticals production in Africa

Multi-country Global Botswana Burkina Faso Cameroon Côte d'Ivoire Ethiopia Namibia
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The loan allocated to the pharmaceuticals company Africure Pharmaceuticals will increase the production capacity for quality medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa. Proparco is combining this loan with a technical assistance project to support the company’s efforts to align with WHO Good Manufacturing and Distribution Practices.
Client presentation

Africure is a manufacturer and distributor of essential generic pharmaceutical products (e.g., paracetamol, basic antibiotics, anti-malaria drugs). Its headquarters is based in India, but it operates throughout Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). While the Group was only created in 2017, Africure is the result of a management buy-out of the African branch of the multinational company Strides Arcolab (in which PROPARCO formerly made an equity investment). 

Africure initially focused on distribution activities in SSA for generics that were partly imported and partly produced in its Indian plant. In 2018, the Group opened its first generic manufacturing plant in Africa (Cameroon), which has allowed it to position itself as one of the few players operating throughout the pharmaceutical value chain in Africa. Africure also has distribution and packaging units in Cameroon, Botswana, Namibia and Burkina Faso. Its medium-term objective is to increase its local production capacity in SSA, with a focus on markets with few or no production units, and position itself as one of the only local producers in SSA to comply with WHO GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) standards. 

Project description

Proparco’s operation will allow Africure to work towards this objective via:  

i) A USD 10m senior loan for which the loan agreement was signed in October 2019. This loan is financing (i) the construction of two new production plants in Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia (USD 7m) and (ii) medium-term working capital requirements to obtain long-term raw materials supply agreements (USD 3m). 

(ii) Technical assistance (TA) (EUR 496K) to allow Africure to achieve and maintain international quality standards for its pharmaceutical manufacturing/distribution facilities. The TA covers (i) regular quality audits for existing/new facilities, (ii) training in WHO-GMP standards, and

(iii) the implementation of recommendations from pharmaceutical quality auditors.  

The Technical Assistance project focuses on strengthening Africure’s quality process to meet international production and distribution standards (WHO's GMP and GDP) for their generic drugs.

Project impact

The project’s main impact is the increase in the production capacity for quality medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africure remains an operator with proven quality and is one of the very few pharmaceuticals manufacturers to comply with WHO GMP standards. While Africure is a medium-sized enterprise with limited production in terms of volume, it is important for Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon: these countries import > 95% of their medicines and a local high-quality producer able to produce and distribute the main pharmaceutical products the population needs is essential (basic antibiotics, anti-malaria drugs, antiretroviral drugs, paracetamol, etc.).   

Date of signature of the project
Multi-country Global Botswana Burkina Faso Cameroon Côte d'Ivoire Ethiopia Namibia
Financing tool
9 191 828 Euros
Amount of funding
USD 10m loan and technical assisance EUROS 263,318
Financing details
Africure Pharmaceuticals Ltd