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Pharma West Africa appoints Ahmed Yakasai as conference chair

Pharma West Africa appoints Ahmed Yakasai as conference chair

Pharma West Africa, Nigeria’s new international trade event for medicines, has appointed Ahmed Yakasai to chair its inaugural Conference.

Yakasai, a former president and fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), will head up the team developing the Conference alongside the Pharma West Africa Exhibition, running from October 4th to 6th in Lagos.

High-level local and international speakers from the pharmaceutical industry, leading pharmacists and other health professionals will discuss the Conference’s theme of ‘New Frontiers in Pharma: Equitable Healthcare and Business Success’. It aims to improve the public’s access to better quality medicines by looking at how to solve the challenges facing the local pharmaceutical industry and to highlight opportunities to improve medicines security, supply and affordability.

“Nigeria has the potential to become a leading manufacturer and distributor of essential medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa. About 60 percent of pharmaceutical production in ECOWAS countries is dominated by Nigeria with less than 50 percent current capacity utilisation,” Yakasai said in a statement.

However, issues facing local medicines availability include infrastructure, supply chain challenges and available technology and training.

“We rely on other countries for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), machinery and other resources needed for domestic production of drugs. Nigeria can balance her dependence on imports to meet its medicines needs by improving manufacturing capacity and increasing research capacity through adequate funding.”

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Yakasai’s experience as a pharmacist, academic and businessman includes more than 40 years’ experience of regulatory affairs. Business roles include being a founder and Chairman of the Safe Medicines Foundation, a board member of Clearline HMO and SFH Access, and chairman of Evans Baroque Pharma Ltd.

He is involved in pharmacist education programmes at the Capital City University, Kano, and at Kano State University of Science and Technology, Wudill, Kano State.

Pharma West Africa will take place at the Landmark Centre on Victoria Island and is being organised by BtoB Events, Africa’s largest trade event organiser which has an expanding exhibition portfolio in Nigeria. Jamie Hill, managing director is delighted Yakasai has accepted the invitation to chair the inaugural Conference.

“Yakasai brings a wealth of experience and has an extensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria. The Conference content will put into context the need for putting patients’ access to medicines first by driving universal health coverage as well as considering how the industry can meet this challenge.”