Venezuela funding Cuban biotech plants in Africa
CUBA STANDARD — Cuba began construction of the third of three biotech
plants in West Africa this week, as part of a trilateral program funded
by Venezuela to battle malaria in the region.
Ahead of a groundbreaking ceremony in the capital of Ghana on Aug. 5,
officials of Cuba, Venezuela and the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) met to discuss feasibility, cost, and investment
architecture of the program, ECOWAS said in a press release. Another
meeting is planned for Venezuela.
Venezuela, Cuba and African countries as well as ECOWAS have been
negotiating the creation of a multilateral fund for cooperation on
health, education, agriculture, energy and infrastructure.
The ceremony in Accra was attended by the president and health minister
of Ghana, as well as the president of the ECOWAS Commission.
Under a malaria elimination campaign administered by ECOWAS, Cuba is in
charge of building and operating biolarvicide plants in Ghana, Nigeria
and Ivory Coast. A biolarvicide developed by Cuban state company
Labiofam is central to the campaign. Malaria kills thousands of Africans
every year, producing a negative economic impact of $12 billion.
The facility in Accra is the third of three plants Cuba is setting up in
the region. Under an agreement signed with the government of Ghana in
2011, state company Grupo Empresarial Labiofam is expanding a
malaria-fighting program begun in 2006 around Accra to the entire country.
Labiofam has already built two biolarvicide plants in Port Harcourt,
Nigeria, and in Côte d’Ivoire that will supply the ECOWAS program in
A similar Cuban plant just built in Tanzania is partially funded by
Labiofam exports Cuba-made biolarvicides Bactivec and GriselESF to a
dozen developing countries; the company also set up a joint venture
manufacturing facility in Brazil.
Source: “Venezuela funding Cuban biotech plants in Africa « Cuba
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