Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) is to collaborate with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to construct a new pharmaceutical production facility and distribution hub near Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The IFC will provide two loans totalling $53.49m (€50m) to Fosun Pharma’s subsidiaries.

The funding will support the new production plant and distribution hub, which is aimed at enhancing access to high-quality medicines in Africa.

The manufacturing site will be completed in three phases and will produce anti-bacterial medicines and anti-malarial drugs.

Its estimated production capacity on completion is five billion tablets per year.

Fosun Pharma announced that the new facility will improve access to affordable life-saving drugs across west Africa and facilitate the transfer of medical and manufacturing knowledge to the African continent, supporting the long-term growth of the health sector in the region.

Fosun Pharma chairman Wu Yifang stated: “We are glad to be supported by IFC to localise pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution in Africa.

“Since 2006, IFC has repeatedly provided support to Fosun Pharma, which is committed to ensuring the continuous accessibility and affordability of pharmaceutical products and improving the resilience of healthcare supply chains in the region.”

Data from the World Health Organisation shows that more than 95% of global malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

IFC Africa vice president Sérgio Pimenta said: “Strengthening Africa’s healthcare infrastructure and capabilities is absolutely essential for the continent’s future social and economic development, especially in the wake of Covid-19.

“IFC’s partnership with Fosun will increase Africa’s ability to manufacture essential drugs locally, helping patients more easily access high-quality, affordable medicines.”