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Africa Pharmaceutical Market By Disease Area (Communicable Diseases, Non-communicable Diseases); By Drug Type (Generic Drugs, Brand Name Drugs); By Distribution Channel (Public Sector, Private Sector); By Region – Growth, Share, Opportunities & Competitive Analysis, 2024 – 2032

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Published: | Report ID: 34584 | Report Format : PDF
Historical Period  2019-2022
Base Year  2023
Forecast Period  2024-2032
Africa Pharmaceutical Market Size 2023  USD 115 Billion
Africa Pharmaceutical Market, CAGR  8.54%
Africa Pharmaceutical Market Size 2032  USD 49.98  Billion

Market Overview:

The pharmaceutical market in Africa is poised for substantial growth, with projections estimating its value to reach USD 115 billion by 2032, marking a noteworthy increase from USD 49.98 billion in 2023. This growth is underpinned by a compelling compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.54% over the forecast period. Key demand drivers include the dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, necessitating a diverse range of pharmaceuticals. The continent’s expanding population, coupled with an increase in life expectancy, further contributes to a rising demand for various medications. Additionally, improved healthcare infrastructure, growing disposable incomes, and government initiatives to enhance access to essential medicines are pivotal factors fueling pharmaceutical consumption.

Emerging trends in the African pharmaceutical market include a focus on local manufacturing to reduce dependence on imports and enhance access to essential medicines. The rise of generic drugs, with governments and healthcare institutions promoting their use for cost-effective treatment options, is another notable trend. Adoption of telemedicine, the emergence of e-pharmacies, and a growing demand for biologics for chronic disease treatment are reshaping the pharmaceutical landscape in Africa.

However, the market faces challenges such as the prevalence of counterfeit drugs, emphasizing the need for stronger regulatory frameworks. Cold chain logistics for temperature-sensitive medications, a shortage of healthcare professionals in rural areas, and unequal distribution of pharmaceuticals across urban and rural regions present additional obstacles. Overcoming these challenges and capitalizing on emerging opportunities will be crucial for unlocking the full potential of the pharmaceutical market in Africa.

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Market Drivers:

The pharmaceutical market in Africa is poised for significant growth, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.54% between 2023 and 2032, resulting in a substantial increase in market value from USD 49.98 million to USD 115 million. For instance, the market value is expected to reach USD 60 million by 2025 and USD 85 million by 2028.

Key drivers fueling this expansion include the continent’s rapidly growing population, particularly in sub-Saharan regions, creating a larger consumer base for pharmaceuticals. For instance, the population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to increase by 25% by 2030. As disposable incomes rise, individuals are increasingly able to afford essential and non-essential medications, driving demand for a broader range of pharmaceutical products. For example, the average disposable income in Africa has increased by 35% in the last decade.

The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, is a significant factor contributing to the growth of the pharmaceutical market in Africa. For instance, the number of people with diabetes in Africa is expected to double by 2030. Lifestyle changes associated with urbanization and economic development, such as unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity, further contribute to the rise in chronic disease prevalence, necessitating increased access to medications for ongoing treatment and management.

Additionally, the persistent fight against communicable diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, remains a crucial public health concern, with growing investments in vaccination programs and disease control initiatives driving demand for specific medications crucial for prevention and treatment. For instance, funding for malaria control in Africa increased by 50% in the last five years.

The expansion of healthcare infrastructure across Africa is another pivotal driver, as governments invest in building new hospitals, clinics, and increasing the number of trained healthcare professionals. This improved access to healthcare facilities generates a greater demand for pharmaceuticals to treat a wider range of ailments. For instance, the number of hospitals in Africa has increased by 20% in the last decade.

Furthermore, government initiatives and regulatory reforms aimed at increasing access to affordable medicines and promoting local production of pharmaceuticals contribute to market growth by fostering trust and confidence in the pharmaceutical sector. For instance, the African Union launched the African Medicines Agency in 2021 to regulate and promote the local pharmaceutical industry.

The rise of telemedicine and e-pharmacies, coupled with growing investment and collaboration from international pharmaceutical companies, further enhance the pharmaceutical landscape in Africa, paving the way for innovation, increased access to medications, and a more robust pharmaceutical ecosystem. For instance, investment in African e-pharmacies has tripled in the last five years, and several major international pharmaceutical companies have established partnerships with local manufacturers.

Market Trends:

  • Rising Prevalence of Chronic Diseases: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer are becoming increasingly prevalent in Africa due to factors like urbanization, dietary changes, and aging populations. This rising disease burden is driving demand for medications for chronic disease management. For instance, the number of people with diabetes in Africa is expected to increase from 19.8 million in 2019 to 47.1 million by 2045.
  • Growing Focus on Communicable Diseases: While NCDs are on the rise, Africa continues to grapple with infectious diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. This necessitates a sustained focus on these areas, with ongoing demand for vaccines, antiretrovirals, and other medications to combat them. For instance, in 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria worldwide, with the African region accounting for 94% of cases and deaths.
  • Expanding Healthcare Infrastructure: Governments across Africa are investing in healthcare infrastructure development, including the construction of new hospitals and clinics. This improved access to healthcare facilities is expected to increase medication consumption. For instance, the number of hospitals in Africa has increased by 20% in the last decade.
  • Growing Middle Class and Disposable Income: The African middle class is expanding, leading to rising disposable income. This empowers individuals to spend more on their health, fostering increased demand for a wider range of pharmaceutical products. For instance, the middle class in Africa is projected to grow to 1.1 billion (42% of the population) by 2060.
  • E-commerce and Mobile Health Technology: The rise of e-commerce platforms and mobile health (mHealth) solutions is improving access to pharmaceuticals in remote areas. This trend is expected to further drive demand and improve medication adherence across the continent. For instance, the number of mobile internet users in Africa has increased significantly from 239 million in 2015 to 453 million in 2020, and it’s projected to reach 634 million by 2025.

Market Restraints and Challenges:

  • Limited Infrastructure and Logistics: A major challenge in Africa is the lack of well-developed infrastructure, particularly in cold chain logistics. This refers to the temperature-controlled storage and transportation of pharmaceuticals, which are critical for maintaining drug efficacy and safety. Without proper cold chain infrastructure, essential medicines like vaccines and insulin can become ineffective, leading to wasted resources and compromised patient care. Additionally, transportation networks in many African countries are underdeveloped, making it difficult to deliver medications to remote areas in a timely manner.
  • High Drug Prices and Affordability Issues: High drug prices remain a significant barrier to access for many Africans. This is due to factors like import dependence, limited domestic manufacturing capacity, and weak price regulation mechanisms. Many essential medicines remain out of reach for a large portion of the population, leading to poor health outcomes and reliance on less effective treatment options.
  • Counterfeit Drugs and Weak Regulatory Systems: The prevalence of counterfeit drugs poses a serious threat to public health in Africa. Weak regulatory frameworks and limited enforcement capacity allow for the circulation of fake and substandard medicines. These can potentially have life-threatening consequences for patients. Strengthening regulatory bodies and implementing robust quality control measures are crucial to combat counterfeiting and ensure the safety and efficacy of available medications.
  • Burden of Communicable Diseases and Limited Access to Healthcare: Africa faces a disproportionate burden of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. However, access to essential medicines for these conditions remains limited due to various factors mentioned above. Additionally, weak healthcare infrastructure and a shortage of skilled medical professionals further restrict access to proper diagnosis, treatment, and adherence to medication regimens. Addressing these issues is crucial for improving public health outcomes in Africa.

Recent Developments:

  • In June 2023, Fosum Pharma partnered with IFC to improve the pharmaceutical company facility and distribution hub. This project will improve access to quality, affordable life life-saving medicines across West Africa.
  • In September 2023, Cipla, South Africa announced the agreement to acquire Actor Pharma. This acquisition will support Cipla’s strategy for OTC and wellness portfolio growth.

Segmentation Analysis:

Disease Burden:

  • Communicable Diseases: Infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis remain a significant public health concern in Africa. This fuels demand for medications used to treat and prevent these illnesses.
  • Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs): The growing prevalence of NCDs like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer is creating demand for pharmaceuticals used in their treatment and management.


Disease Area:

  • Communicable Diseases
  • Non-communicable Diseases

Drug Type:

  • Generic Drugs
  • Brand Name Drugs

Distribution Channel:

  • Public Sector
  • Private Sector


  • North America
    • The U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • The U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • South-east Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC Countries
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East and Africa

 Key player:

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • AbbVie
  • Alfasigma
  • Aspen
  • Aurobindo Pharma
  • AstraZeneca
  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • BGM
  • Cipla
  • Sun Pharma

Regional Analysis:

East Africa: This region is experiencing a rise in disposable income and increasing urbanization, leading to a growing demand for modern healthcare facilities and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, government initiatives to improve healthcare access and combat prevalent diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria are propelling the market forward. Countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania are expected to be key contributors to the regional growth.

West Africa: Similar trends of rising disposable income and urbanization are fueling pharmaceutical market growth in West Africa. Furthermore, a high burden of infectious diseases and a growing geriatric population are driving demand for medications. Nigeria, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire are anticipated to be major markets in this region.

Central Africa: This region faces challenges related to limited healthcare infrastructure and political instability. However, growing government investments in healthcare and rising donor aid are expected to stimulate pharmaceutical market growth. Countries like Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cameroon hold potential for future market expansion.

South Africa: South Africa boasts the most developed pharmaceutical market in Africa, with a well-established infrastructure and a strong presence of multinational companies. The country’s focus on chronic disease management and its role as a regional hub for medical tourism are expected to contribute significantly to market growth.

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Future Outlook:

  • Rising Demand for Chronic Disease Treatments: As Africa’s population ages and adopts more Westernized lifestyles, the prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer is expected to rise. This will drive demand for medications to manage these conditions.
  • Growing Focus on Communicable Diseases: While the fight against infectious diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS will continue, the market will also see a rise in treatments for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
  • Increased Healthcare Investment: Governments across Africa are projected to increase their healthcare budgets, leading to improved access to medicines and a rise in pharmaceutical spending.
  • Urbanization and Expanding Middle Class: Rapid urbanization and a growing middle class with rising disposable income will fuel demand for a wider variety of pharmaceutical products.
  • Local Manufacturing Growth: Governments are prioritizing local production of pharmaceuticals to reduce dependence on imports and improve access to essential medicines. This will stimulate domestic market growth.
  • Technological Advancements: The adoption of telemedicine, digital health platforms, and advancements in drug delivery systems will improve access to healthcare and pharmaceuticals in remote areas.
  • Focus on Regulatory Harmonization: Efforts to harmonize pharmaceutical regulations across African countries will streamline market access and encourage regional trade.
  • Increased E-commerce Adoption: The growing popularity of e-commerce platforms will provide new avenues for consumers to purchase pharmaceuticals, particularly in under-served areas.
  • Counterfeit Drug Challenges: Stringent measures will be required to address the ongoing problem of counterfeit drugs to ensure patient safety and market stability.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Collaboration between governments, pharmaceutical companies, and NGOs will be crucial for developing and delivering affordable medicines to meet Africa’s specific healthcare needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What factors are driving the significant growth in the African pharmaceutical market from USD 49.98 billion in 2023 to USD 115 billion by 2032, with a CAGR of 8.54%?

The growth in the African pharmaceutical market can be attributed to several key factors. The rising disposable income and expanding population in the region contribute to an increased demand for a broader range of pharmaceutical products. The surge in chronic diseases, lifestyle changes, and the ongoing battle against communicable diseases further underscore the necessity for various medications. Additionally, expanding healthcare infrastructure, government initiatives promoting access to affordable medicines, and regulatory reforms are pivotal drivers propelling this substantial market growth.

How is the pharmaceutical market in Africa responding to the prevalence of chronic diseases, and what role does lifestyle change play in this context?

The pharmaceutical market in Africa is adapting to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer by addressing the growing demand for medications essential for ongoing treatment and management. Lifestyle changes associated with urbanization and economic development, including unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles, contribute to the increased incidence of chronic diseases. Pharmaceutical companies are actively developing and supplying medications to meet the healthcare needs arising from these lifestyle changes, thereby shaping the market to address emerging health challenges.

What role do technological advancements, such as telemedicine and e-pharmacies, play in reshaping the pharmaceutical landscape in Africa?

Technological advancements like telemedicine and e-pharmacies are revolutionizing the pharmaceutical landscape in Africa. The adoption of telemedicine facilitates remote consultations, particularly benefiting patients in remote areas who can access healthcare professionals without physical proximity. E-pharmacies provide a convenient platform for patients to purchase medications online, promoting greater access to essential drugs. These innovations contribute to increased medication prescriptions, improved accessibility, and enhanced efficiency in the distribution of pharmaceuticals, thereby reshaping the way healthcare services are delivered and pharmaceuticals are accessed in the region.

How are international collaborations and investments influencing the African pharmaceutical market, and what impact do they have on research and development, product innovation, and market expansion?

The African pharmaceutical market is experiencing increased investments from international pharmaceutical companies and private equity firms. This influx of capital is fueling research and development efforts, driving product innovation, and expanding market reach. Collaborations between local and international players leverage local knowledge and expertise with international resources and technology, creating a more robust pharmaceutical ecosystem in Africa. This collaborative approach enhances the industry’s capacity for innovation, ensuring the development of medications that meet the specific healthcare needs of the African population and contributing to the overall growth and sustainability of the pharmaceutical market in the region.

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