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Published January 26, 2021 / Public health

The Lomé Initiative: assessment and progress one year after its launch


On 22 January 2021, H.E. Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Togolese Republic, received in audience Mr. Richard Amalvy, Chief Executive of the Brazzaville Foundation who came to present the results and perspectives of the Lomé Initiative one year after its launch.

Caption (from left to right): Mr. Richard Amalvy, Chief Executive of the Brazzaville Foundation, Mr. Professor Moustafa Mijiyawa, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene of Togo, Ms. Fatoumata Binta Diallo, WHO Resident Representative in Togo, © Brazzaville Foundation.

The latter was in Lomé at the invitation of Professor Moustafa Mijiyawa, Minister of Health and Public Hygieneto report on the implementation of theLomé Initiative in Togo; the political and technical coordination of the initiative at the level of the six signatory countries; and the prospects for programme in terms of content and partnerships. The visit also provided an opportunity for a fruitful exchange with theWHO in TogoFatoumata Binta Diallo, and her team.

Caption: Interview with Richard Amalvy, CEO of the Brazzaville Foundation, at COP27, © Voice of the Environment.

An unprecedented initiative

On Saturday, January 18, 2020, the Lomé Initiative, developed by Brazzaville Foundation, was officially launched by H.E. Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo; H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda; H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, as well as representatives of H.E. Denis Sassou N'guesso, President of the Republic of Congo; H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger.


The summit concluded with the signing of aa political declaration committing states to the fight against trafficking falsified and substandard medicines (FSM), to ratify existing international agreements and to introduce new criminal sanctions against traffickers. "This is the first time that we Africans have tackled the problem of falsified medicines ourselves, a scourge of which our continent is the first victim, with dramatic consequences for our populations. Africa must get involved in the fight against this deadly trafficking ", commented President Faure Gnassingbé at the end of the summit.


" Brazzaville Foundation is extremely proud to have launched this initiative, and we thank the Heads of State and signatory countries for their long-term commitment," said Jean-Yves Ollivier, Founding Chairman of Brazzaville Foundation.

Advances in the initiative

Since the Summit, the various Ministries of Health have been mobilized to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This mobilisation has been the subject of national plans involving several ministerial departments. The approach adopted to draw up these plans may be the same as for the design and implementation of national plans to combat FSM. The health crisis is likely to be exacerbated by the spread of falsified pharmaceutical products (anti-malarial drugs, tests, vaccines), making it all the more urgent to implement the contents of the draft Framework Agreement.


At the request of the signatory states, the Foundation carried out a legislative audit to identify legislative shortcomings and make recommendations for improvement at national level andharmonisation at international level. The audit was carried out in 2020. The health situation linked to Covid-19 has prevented the organization of feedback seminars, which will take place at national level in the first half of 2021.


Research was also carried out in July to identify gaps in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The effects of corruption on the supply chain require action involving several ministerial departments within countries, and the strengthening of international cooperation. Our work shows that, while the fight against counterfeit medicines is a public health issue, it also concerns justice and the rule of law at national and regional level. It would appear that the development of national plans to combat trafficking counterfeit medicines, including new legal instruments, is the next step for the states involved.


In 2020, the parties involved agreed not to duplicate but to support existing relevant international agreements and the ratification of the African Medicines Agency, as well as to encourage other African states to join this initiative. To this end, on December 2, 2020, Professor Moustafa Mijiyawa and Mr. Richard Amalvy, Chief Executive of the Foundation, were heard at the third plenary meeting of the Committee of the Parties to the Council of Europe's MEDICRIME Convention. Togo, Senegal and the Republic of Congo are expected to sign this international agreement in the near future.


In 2021, the Brazzaville Foundation will continue to provide technical support to public health departments.


From February to April, the Togolese Minister of Health and Chief Executive will be making a series of coordination visits to the Ministers of Health of the signatory countries, with a view to strengthening joint resources.

Caption: Meeting between Prof. Moustafa Mijiyawa, Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene of Togo, Mrs. Fatoumata Binta Diallo, representative of WHO Togo and her team, and Richard Amalvy, Chief Executive of the Brazzaville Foundation, © Brazzaville Foundation.