GlaxoSmithKline announced that is launching a series of new investments in sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of addressing urgent health needs and contributing to long term business growth.
GSK said it will be making targeted investments of up to £130 million in the next five years. This is expected to open at least 500 jobs in the area and support development of home-grown capabilities and skills in Africa. The investments will also build GSK’s existing business base in the area which currently employs around 1,500 people in more than 40 countries, including local manufacturing sites in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
Speaking at the 5th EU-Africa Business Forum in Brussels, GSK CEO Sir Andrew Witty said “Today, we are setting out further steps to tackle Africa’s dual health burden of infectious and emerging non-communicable diseases and help build crucial capacity to underpin the development of the healthcare sector in the region. We have a unique opportunity to deliver meaningful social and economic value to all of the communities we work in – using our scientific expertise and our global reach to develop innovative medicines and deliver them to people who need them around the world.”
The company announced its intent to partner with governments of African countries to improve chronic disease research, increase capacity, and fortify healthcare infrastructure. GlaxoSmithKline’s initiatives include opening the world’s first R&D Open Lab for study of non-communicable diseases and development of new drugs for Africa. GSK will also establish 25 Academic Chairs at African universities and train an additional 10,000 community health workers across sub-Saharan Africa.
“With global attention focused on how we support development beyond 2015, now is the moment for business to play a more active role in contributing to a more prosperous future in Africa, investing in infrastructure, building skills and capability to unlock human potential and create jobs. Our long-term goal is to equip Africa to discover, develop, and produce the medicines required for Africa,” CEO Witty stated.