KIGALI, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda on Friday formally laid the foundation stone paving way for the construction of the first pharmaceutical plant in the country.
With the support of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Cooper Pharma, a Moroccan pharmaceutical company will built a 6 million U.S. dollars pharmaceutical plant at the Kigali Special Economic Zone located in Rwandan capital city Kigali.
The plant will locally produce drugs that include beta-lactam antibiotics in the short term and then expand to non-beta lactam antibiotics depending on local and regional market demand.
The establishment of the first pharmaceutical firm in Rwanda is a significant milestone for the country in reducing imports, as the country currently imports approximately 100 million dollars of medical products, said chief executive officer of the RDB Clare Akamanzi at the event held at Kigali Special Economic Zone.
"This initiative is in perfect coherence with the government of Rwanda's policies, which aim to encourage local production and the promotion of foreign direct investments," she said.
The plant is expected to help reduce the amount of foreign exchange used to import drugs while at the same time creating more job opportunities for the youth in the country, said Akamanzi.
The medical facility is expected to reinforce Rwanda's position as a medical export hub in the region.
According to RDB, about 40 well-paying jobs for local pharmaceutical professionals will be created during the first phase and employment opportunities will increase further as the plant expands.
The factory, set to be operational in 2019, will be built on a plot of 2 hectares of land.
This plant is among the 21 deals that were signed between Morocco and Rwanda in October 2016 during a three-day visit of King Mohammed VI to Rwanda.