First National Bank Ghana, a member of the FirstRand Group of South Africa, has affirmed its support for the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana with a set of products which are intended to meet the credit needs of players in the sector.
The bank’s response to needs of the industry is designed to support all players in the full value chain – from manufacturing to retailing, and from importation to distribution, according to Chief Executive of First National Bank Ghana, Dominic Adu.
He believes that banks, government, regulators and the broader financial services sector in Ghana need to pull together like never before, in a constructive partnership to help grow Ghana’s pharmaceutical industry exponentially in these difficult times of COVID-19.
Mr. Adu says the emerging pharmaceutical industry in Ghana has been underserved for many years, but it is about to realise an expansion with the support of First National Bank coupled with that of government, regulators and other key stakeholders.
He said First National Bank Ghana’s parent company has supported the health sector in Africa and, more importantly, the pharmaceutical sector for several years; especially in South Africa, which is home to many large manufacturing and distribution companies
“First National Bank Ghana hopes to replicate this support to the pharmaceutical sector here in Ghana, which has great potential for boosting economic growth and creating jobs if the full value chain is properly funded and monitored,’’ Mr. Adu said. “Our solution is like none other on the market, because it is shaped in line with our principle to grow with our customers.”
With an average gross domestic product growth of 6% just before the coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020, the opportunity has always been enormous for Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies to do better. With the official start of free intra continental trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), those opportunities have received an exponential boost.
“It’s very exciting that Ghana has received the very first set of vaccines for COVID-19. This provides a sweet opportunity for expansion of availability, distribution and hopefully local manufacturing in the shortest possible time,” Mr. Adu says. “Undoubtedly, First National Bank Ghana is ready to support players who have the capacity to also acquire the patents and rights to produce or buy and distribute – not only the coronavirus vaccines, but other important drugs used in the treatment of infections.
“Players in the pharmaceutical value chain should be aware that our doors are always open with the right solutions to cushion them from the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ he added. “Providing funding to indigenous companies that enables them to increase capacity to meet the increasing demand for healthcare arising from the coronavirus crisis is in line with our shared values.’’