Government pharmaceutical plant on hold

22 March 2019 | Health

Government's plan to construct a pharmaceutical plant is on hold until various agreements are reached with private sector partners involved in the project.

This is according to Namibia Industrialisation Development Agency (NIDA) acting executive director Uparura Kuvare.

Government first announced its plan to establish the plant in 2016.

“The conceptualisation of the pharmaceutical plant is on hold until further notice. Agreements have not been reached with our technical partners,” Kuvare said this week.

According to him, the project remained important, despite its delayed implementation.

“The pharmaceutical plant is still a priority project for us and for Namibia as well. We are still engaging on the plant,” said Kuvare.

Information on the conceptualisation, funding and development of the plant would be provided at an appropriate time, as it becomes available, Kuvare promised.

The plant is earmarked for Okahandja, 70 kilometres north of Windhoek.

“Land for the plant has been identified,” Kuvare said.

When the project was still under the auspices of the trade ministry, 14 hectares of land was donated by the Okahandja town council.

Trade ministry spokesperson Elijah Mukubonda said in 2016 that the project would be implemented in stages.

“Thus, the project is still in a planning phase. The outcome will result in a project plan. Once the planning process is completed, the project plan will reveal the details,” said Mukubonda, when speaking to a local weekly newspaper at the time.

“The project will be implemented in phases. However, there is urgency and a need for Namibia to have a pharmaceutical plant.”

The first phase of the plant is set to cost government N$37 million, and was at the time one of the ministry's many projects under the Harambee Prosperity Plan, Mukubonda added.

In 2016 the trade ministry was still studying the local market to determine the drugs that would be required.

“We are considering malaria, TB and antiretroviral drugs, however, consultations and investigations are ongoing and a decision will be informed by what is most urgent and important,” said Mukubonda at the time.

Once complete, it will be the first government-owned and operated pharmaceutical plant in Namibia.

OGONE TLHAGE