31 March 2014

GSK to invest £130 million and create 500 jobs in Africa

31 March 2014 - GSK has announced a series of new investments in sub-Saharan Africa designed to address pressing health needs and contribute to long-term business growth. This will see GSK make targeted investments of up to £130 million in Africa over the next five years, creating at least 500 jobs and contributing to the development of home-grown capabilities and skills in Africa. This builds on GSK’s existing business base in sub-Saharan Africa, which currently employs around 1,500 people in over 40 countries, including at three existing local manufacturing sites in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. 

GSK CEO Sir Andrew Witty said: “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.”

GSK will invest £25 million to create the world’s first R&D Open Lab for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa. This builds on the success of GSK’s Open Lab in Tres Cantos, Spain which gives independent researchers access to GSK facilities, resources and knowledge to help them advance their own research projects into diseases of the developing world such as malaria, tuberculosis and leishmaniasis.

Over the next five years, GSK will look to partner with a number of African countries to develop domestic manufacturing capacity and capability. This will see GSK invest up to £100m to expand its existing manufacturing capability in Nigeria and Kenya and build up to five new factories in Africa. The company is currently reviewing possible locations in countries including Rwanda, Ghana and Ethiopia and the selected sites will be announced in due course and subject to Government agreement.

To support the scale-up of domestic manufacturing and supply, GSK will establish up to 25 academic Chairs at local African universities in related areas such as pharmaceutical sciences, public health, engineering and logistics. These roles will facilitate the development of new courses as well as internships and student exchanges, and will be pivotal to ensuring manufacturing capability is locked into the continent to help attract further manufacturing investment.

GSK is also taking steps to improve and simplify its supply chain with the creation of regional supply hubs that will help to reduce stock shortages and local supply partnerships to enable more GSK products and medicines to reach under-served rural communities in Africa. These steps will help reduce Africa’s reliance on imported medicines, improving the security of supply and reducing production costs and transportation which in time should help contribute to lower prices.

Source: GSK