Snapshot of African Pharma

“Pharma is amongst the best performing sectors in Africa; the industry has been growing at a steady rate over the past few years and this momentum is expected to continue in tandem with overall economic growth being witnessed in Africa”

Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Head of MENA at The Abraaj Group


Valued at an estimated $ 20 billion today (Metanoia) and projected to reach $45 billion by 2020 (IMS Health), the African pharmaceutical market is one of the fastest growing sectors on the continent, with many countries experiencing double digit growth, albeit from a low base. We predict that the African pharmaceutical market, as the next growth frontier will be the new battle ground for global pharma. Many leading global companies, and small privately owned biopharmaceutical companies now recognise the opportunity that this vast but heterogeneous market, with a combined population of 1.03 billion people, a GDP of almost $2 trillion and a healthcare expenditure of 200 billion USD presents.

The growth drivers include a number of factors, whose influence will increase in magnitude and scope in the coming years. These include among others:

  • Increasing political stability and institutional reform
  • Improving macro-economic environment
  • Supportive legal-regulatory framework
  • Improving infrastructure and utilities
  • Growing markets (increasing ability to pay, changing disease profiles)
  • Increasing political support from the African Union Commission and the African heads of State and Government; and multilateral institutions for the development of the African pharmaceutical industry, as articulated in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa.

In the last few years, we have seen significant investments (and definitive plans to invest) in African Pharma, as highlighted below:

  • Sanofi announced investments of $95 million in a new manufacturing facility (Algeria) and $29 million in a new distribution platform in Morocco
  • GSK has announced plans to build 5 new plants in Africa
  • Novartis generics wing Sandoz, through its A1 Pharma subsidiary has formed joint ventures / partnerships with Cinpharma of Cameroon and Lagray Chemical Company of Ghana
  • Hikma acquired Morocco’s Promopharma for $112 million
  • Cipla acquired Medpro of South Africa for $450 million
  • Recordati acquired 90% of Tunisia’s Opalia in a deal valued at $48 million
  • The Abraaj Group has invested undisclosed amounts in Vine Pharmaceuticals and Steripharma of Uganda, as well as Unimed of Morocco.
  • Imperial Health Services has acquired logistics providers MDS Logistics and Eco Health (both of Nigeria) for $100 million

Despite the clear interest and intent from leading global pharmaceutical companies, and from leading private equity players, myths, misperceptions, Afro-pessimism and a general lack of knowledge is keeping many other interested parties at bay. Metanoia exists to assist these interested parties to explore, investigate, and engage with the African pharmaceutical market. The Metanoia promise is to become a constellation by which companies can navigate, a lighthouse to lead them safely to shore, and to assist them in successfully accessing and competing in the growing African pharmaceutical market space speedily and with minimum stress.



We aspire to be the first port of call for local and global bio-pharmaceutical companies and other organizations with a desire to explore and/or enter the African pharmaceutical market, to attain leadership position in the African pharmaceutical consulting space, to be known for innovation, superior service and unparalleled/exceptional project delivery capabilities.


Our mission in captured in 3 short words:

Conceive. Connect. Commit

We exist to assist global and local operating in or intent on entering the African pharma market and to conceive best in class interventions, connect with the market place and form strategic, sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships; and to commit to offer the highest quality service.


Our core values are:

  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Respect
  • Service excellence