Due to expansion in health insurance schemes, an increase in confidence in generic products, improved business climate, and enhanced investments in the health sector, the previous decade saw an estimated 10 percent growth in the pharmaceutical market in Africa.
That’s not the only reason why Africa’s health sector should be a magnet for global investors. Since there are innumerable intermediaries between pharmacy (where medicines are sold) and production facility (where they’re made) in Africa, the profit margins in the sector are as high as 50% in some countries.
What is more, the share of the locally-produced market in Africa stands at a meager five percent, which means that 95% of medicines consumed in Africa are imported. That leaves enormous room for potential investors to set up production facilities within the continent and get various benefits.
Here’s how lobbyists could open the doors of Africa’s health sector for potential investors:
#1: Help Pharmaceuticals Develop Local Production Facilities In Africa
At the start of the 21st century, a World Bank study concluded that Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa had the industrial capacity that investors could exploit to produce medicines both for the local as well as the global audience.
Lobbyists, via their contacts on the ground, can help investors set up such facilities. They could also help the investors fulfill the paperwork requirements, execute property purchase agreements and hire manpower who would work in these industries.
Apart from helping in the production phase, lobbyists can also help in the shipping of your products to worldwide markets. Firms like Lobbying Africa have the necessary legal expertise which could help your produce get airport clearances and become a part of the global pharmaceutical market.
#2: Help Pharmaceuticals Forge Partnership with Local Business Partners
In contrast to what some outsiders believe, the African Union doesn’t have one unified market like the European Union. Fifty-four distinct markets are operating in Africa, with each having a different market size, legal structure, economic landscape and political complexities.
Hence the reason why global investors need to forge partnerships with local investors to navigate the many markets of this continent. The non-existence of any regulatory body that covers the whole of Africa’s pharmaceutical sector further necessitates investment in local partnerships.
That’s why investors would do well to hire the services of a lobbying firm. Provided they have contacts on the ground, such firms could introduce their clients to potential partners in Africa. These partnerships, in turn, would help the investors produce and sell their pharmaceutical products in the African market.
#3: Help Pharmaceuticals Build Relations With Governments
An investor willing to set up facilities or sell its medicinal goods in Africa needs to be on good terms with the government. Whether investors want to work with medical opinion leaders, looking to secure funding for their venture or launch public awareness campaigns, every road will lead to the health ministry.
Take the example of Johnson & Johnson to understand this point. It has developed a working relationship with the South African government to launch an awareness campaign that uses mobile phone messages to educate parents on maternal, child, and newborn health.
Lobbyists help on this count as well. They have contacts with those sitting in the corridors of power that they could tap to protect the interests of their clients. As a result, investors could rest easy with the knowledge that any upcoming governmental policy won’t harm their business interests.
#4: Help identify markets with the best potential for growth
Do you know that only ten countries contributed more than two-thirds to Africa’s cumulative and GDP growth over the past decade? Aware of the fact that 37% of African consumers of medicines reside in only 30 cities across the continent?
Both these stats make it clear that a scatter-gun approach towards marketing would most likely fail in Africa. What investors need is data, and lobbyists have plenty of it which these investors could use to tailor their marketing campaigns according to their target audience.