Julphar opens Ethiopian plant
Addis Ababa, February 7, 2013
The UAE-based Julphar, in conjunction with its local Ethiopian partner Medtech, has inaugurated its first manufacturing facility in Africa in Addis Ababa.
The official opening ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn; Dr Yousif Eissa Hassan Alsabri, UAE Ambassador to Ethiopia; Sheikh Faisal Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, chairman of Julphar; and Sheikh Saqr bin Humaid Al Qasimi.
The inauguration was preceded with a dinner hosted by the President of Ethiopia, Girma Wolde-Giorgis, at the National Palace. Discussions between the dignitaries and the President took place regarding direct foreign investment into Ethiopia.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said: "Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a growing population. It is important to have tremendous access to quality medicine. I would like to express my appreciation of this project and congratulate HH Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qasimi for the completion of this project. You can count on government support. Our doors are always open."
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Trade, said: "We are very proud to have Julphar represent the UAE with its investment in this facility." She encouraged other UAE businesses also to invest in the country.
Ethiopia Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Tedros Adhanom said: "Julphar is a real showcase for other companies looking to invest into Ethiopia. From the start, this project fascinated me. Expansion of the facility was factored into the plans from the beginning and for that we are grateful."
The Julphar Ethiopia manufacturing facility marks a significant milestone in Julphar's history and is a major part of its international expansion strategy that will see the company building a truly global footprint.
The pharmaceutical market in Africa is significant and growing, with recent estimates of the continent's market set at between $8 and $10 billion. In light of this opportunity, Julphar undertook substantial research when developing its Ethiopian facility. The company took great care to examine the therapeutic sectors in the country which are limited or inaccessible in order that the Julphar Ethiopia plant would produce relevant and much needed medicines during its production launch phases.
Dr Ayman Sahli, Julphar's CEO, said: "We are deeply honoured by the presence of Mr Haile Mariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
His attendance is a clear indication of the strong relationship that already stands between our two countries and we sincerely hope that this relationship continues to grow.
I am also delighted to welcome HH Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr al Qasimi, chairman of Julphar, as well as members from the Julphar Board of Directors. We are privileged to have such a distinguished audience with us at the launch of Julphar Ethiopia."
Dr Mohamed Nuri, CEO of Medtech, said: "Medtech is proud to play a crucial role in the provision of medicines throughout Africa. The opening of this facility will enable us not only to be a vital supplier to the local market but way beyond across the whole continent. We have worked in alignment with the Ethiopian government and other global health organizations in the planning of this facility and we are excited about the impact this will have on local healthcare."
Once fully operational the Julphar plant will produce per annum 25 million bottles of suspension and syrup, 500 million tablets and 200 million capsules. The new plant is equipped with state-of-the-art technology enabling production of Julphar products not only for the local market but also across the African continent.
Julphar has invested 170 million birrs ($9.17 million) in the construction of the plant.
Recruitment of 50 local staff is currently underway across areas of quality assurance, quality control, production and maintenance, regulatory affairs and various administration roles. This will cover the initial stage. Further and ongoing recruitment will occur as the plant becomes fully operational, said the statement.
The 40,000 sq ft facility, designed and built by Julphar's engineering and construction division, is located in the Gerji Jakros region of the Ethiopian capital.
Julphar is a public shareholding company based in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE). - TradeArabia News Service