Africa’s First Insulin Factory

Julphar Ethiopia Pharmaceutical Industry, which was inaugurated in February 2013, is introducing what it says will be Africa’s first insulin factory, as an expansion of the existing factory.

The company was established with a capital of 170 million Br, with a 55pc share being owned by UAE-based Julphar Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries, and a 45pc share by Ethiopian company, Med-tech Ethiopia. The insulin facility will begin construction in a month’s time in front of the existing facility at Gerji, in Bole District.

“We are hoping that the land for construction will be handed over to us in the next two weeks,” Mukemil Abdella, country director of Julphar Pharmaceutical Industry told Fortune.

There have been 32 small and micro enterprises doing business since 2006 on the plot Julphar is interested in, who are now arguing with the Woreda administration.

“Our government has taken a strong commitment towards the development and expansion of big industrial plants. That is why we decided to handover the land to Julphar by evacuating the enterprises,” said Heyru Nuru, land management head at Bole District.

Despite this, different members of the association have lamented the decision on the grounds that they would be left without land.

“If we are going to leave this place, I do not know where to go, as I cannot afford rent,” Niguse Wubishet, a member of one of the associations stated.

The decision is based on the signed memorandum of understanding between the Woreda seven micro and small enterprises bureau and members of the association. The Woreda had a discussion with the association before reaching a decision, Abate Sisay, head of micro and small enterprises at Woreda seven, told Fortune.

“We will give replacement land to those who have worked for less than five years, but as for the rest, it is not our concern as they should have left long ago, as per our agreement,” he added.

The factory will be constructed on an 11,051sqm plot of land.

Mukemil did not specify the production capacity of the plant, only saying that the company aimed to make Ethiopia the insulin hub of Africa by reaching across the continent. The Ethiopian side of the company, Med-tech Ethiopia, is a privately owned pharmaceutical and medical supplies importer and distributer. It has a 45pc share in the company, with Julphar Ethiopia Pharmaceutical, holding the majority share.

Julphar Ethiopia Pharmaceutical, which was established in February 2013, has the capacity to produce 25 million bottles of suspensions and syrups, 500 million tablets and 170 million capsules annually.

Julphar claims to be one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Middle East and North Africa, and distributes medicine to over 40 countries. Established in 1980 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it operates in 12 internationally certified manufacturing facilities globally, produces over a million boxes of medicines daily and holds 3,483 product registration certificates. Eleven of its facilities are based in the UAE, covering production areas including tablets, syrups and suspensions. In 2013, Julphar launched a manufacturing facility in Ethiopia, as part of its ongoing international expansion strategy.

The Ethiopian pharmaceutical industry currently consists of 21 pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturers, producing only 15pc of the total demand. The remaining 85pc, worth 300 million dollars, is imported, according the World Bulletin News website.

The factory, worth one Billion Br, is expected to begin production by the beginning of 2017.






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