Boost for pharma industry as KQ Cargo facility gets certified

Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen speaking during the official ceremony for the certification of Kenya Airways Cargo by IATA at JKIA, Nairobi on May 5, 2023. [Courtesy]

The government’s ambitious plan of expanding the pharmaceutical sector to a Sh68 billion industry has received a major boost with the certification of Kenya Airways pharma facility.

The facility managed by KQ Cargo has been certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) allowing the national carrier to handle pharma products on which are temperature sensitive.

This certification not only expands KQ’s business but also positions Kenya’s pharma industry at an advantage of increasing its exports.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said the industry has been disadvantaged due to logistical challenges associated with the delicate products.

Murkomen said that Kenya is only able to export Sh6.4 billion worth of products to the regional markets, which translates to 0.04 per cent of the total potential.

Murkomen said the certification is a stamp of approval for the quality of standards, professionalism and level of services offered by KQ Cargo.

“Our target is to increase Kenya’s market share in pharmaceutical exports from the current sh6.4 billion to sh68 billion translating to a five per cent share of the sh1.4 trillion market for pharmaceutical products in Africa,” he said.

He was speaking during the launch of KQ cargo facility that has been certified to handle pharmaceutical products in Nairobi.

Murkomen said for this to be done, one of the key challenges to be addressed is the multiple limitations in the supply chain, specifically the transport logistics of pharmaceuticals.

Such needs a set of standards and regulations that will ensure pharma cargo is handled with utmost care.

“This is because, the transportation of temperature controlled and time sensitive products, including vaccines, must meet pharmaceutical manufacturers’ requirements and when done right, will boost the industry and improve the country’s ranking on pharma distribution,” said Murkomen.

The CS said the government will continue investing in the health and manufacturing sectors to boost the country’s ability to produce health products like medicine and associated consumables for both local and export market.

“Through enactment of the requisite protocols and regulatory standards, we will ensure speedy, consistent and efficient delivery of high value, time sensitive, temperature controlled products,” he said.

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