Africa and the Middle East region is a largely untapped, yet potentially a huge fruitful market of the world for the pharmaceutical industry, both as a sales region and for the establishment of manufacturing, research and development (R & D) facilities. According to the Institute of Medicine report, spending on medicines for Africa and the Middle East was projected to be about 52 Billion U.S dollars by end of 2018.
Most of this revenue growth was generated for pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies based in the USA, Europe, Asia and Israel. Fifty-two billion U.S dollars is an enormous amount of money if African based indigenous pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies were able to have a share of even a third of the revenue, 17 Billion U.S dollars, while the rest went to USA, Western European and Middle East countries. This would pay for a significant part of the research and development resources required to nurture Africa’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, besides starting the process of developing specialty medicines to target diseases that are prevalent and unique to Africa like; sleeping sickness, malaria and sickle cell anemia a genetic disease among many others. Such resources would anchor the foundation for vibrant biotechnology industry as well as medical research institutions of high caliber. A well thought out and planned medical biotechnology industry in Africa has the potential to generate revenues in excess of $25 billion annually while creating new employment opportunities for 75,000 – 150,000 people either directly or indirectly, just like in the USA where the biotechnology and life sciences sector is estimated to employ close to 2 million directly or indirectly.
While some multinational corporations have already started to invest directly into the Middle East region in countries like Saudi Arabia (the most economically powerful nation in the Middle East) and some north African countries, the rest of Africa presents an attractive direct investment opportunity for biotech/pharmaceutical companies both home grown and international because of the numbers in population and the medicines consumption opportunity it presents.
Daktari biotechnology plans with time to be a major player in this sector within Africa by providing significant amount of up to 90% of the medical biotechnology products.