Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni has arrived in the Togolese Capital Lome for a two-day France – Africa summit on drug trafficking and counterfeit medicines on the continent. The President arrived at the Lome – Tokoin Gnassingbe Eyadema International airport and was received by his host President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe.
The summit is an initiative of the Brazzavile Foundation, a charity organization based in the United Kingdom whose patron is HRH Prince Micheal of Kent and is led by Sir David Richmond. The Brazzaville Foundation is expected to lead to a “Lomé Initiative” to end the illegal trafficking and use of fake drugs, and also help to combat a deadly trade that claims hundreds of thousands of lives every year in Africa and funds transnational crime and terrorism.
The foundation is managed by an international advisory board made up of highly distinguished individuals including Uganda’s former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi who was at the airport to receive the President on behalf of the foundation.
Africa Tembelea understands that seven African leaders from the Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Uganda will sign an agreement for stronger legislation to criminalise the sale of fake drugs. The aim is to bolster cooperation between governments and encourage other African nations to join the initiative.
According to reports, globally, the trade in counterfeit pharmaceuticals is worth up to US$200bn annually with Africa among the worst affected regions.
Weak legislation, poor healthcare systems and widespread poverty have encouraged the growth of this parallel — and deadly — market. Since 2013, Africa has made up 42 percent of the fake medicine seized worldwide. According to experts, the two drugs most likely to be out-of-date or poor, ineffective copies are antibiotics and anti-malarials.
Mr. Museveni who is representing the East African region, will be making his presentation today. East Africa is one of the regions facing increased threats from drug trafficking and counterfeit medicines.
From Togo, President Museveni will travel to London where he is expected to participate in the inaugural UK – Africa Investment Summit that opens on Monday, January 20.
Africa Tembelea has learnt that the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, would play host to the summit where African leaders, business owners and heads of international organisations will engage in discussions “to create new partnerships that are expected to deliver more investments and jobs.”
Apart from highlighting new perspectives on UK -Africa Partnership for Prosperity, Africa Tembelea understands that issues of Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure; Trade and Investment; Future African Growth Sectors and Clean Energy and Climate, are expected to dominate presentations and discussions during the Summit.
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With the expected take -off of the African Continental Free Trade Area in mid-2020, the London investment summit will provide Uganda and Africa as a whole the opportunity to project itself as a leading investment destination for new industries.
This summit will also deepen Africa and the United Kingdom investment ties post – Brexit given that Africa currently represents just two per cent of British trade activity.
Additional reporting by PPU