Pan-African Parliament Advocates for Traditional Medicines to be Promoted and Regulated


PAP advocates for use of traditional African medicines

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has issued a call for the promotion and regulation of traditional medicines in Africa. Recognizing that traditional medicine serves as the primary healthcare option for approximately 80 percent of the population in Africa, the PAP Committee on Health, Labour, and Social Affairs presented a report emphasizing the need to increase public awareness about the benefits of African traditional medicines.


Presenting the report on behalf of the Chairperson of the Committee on Health Hon. Dr Nouhou Arba. Image courtesy of PAP Media

The Rapporteur of the Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Hon Dr. Nouhou Arba, on behalf of the Chairperson. The committee report stressed the importance of integrating traditional medicine into Africa’s healthcare systems. Dr Arba highlighted several advantages of traditional medicine, including its affordability, accessibility, and the rich cultural and spiritual heritage associated with its use. He also pointed out that some countries have successfully incorporated traditional medicine into their national health systems, underscoring its potential to treat various diseases.

During the debates on traditional medicines, Hon Dr Awoko Amzaye Assoma from Ethiopia emphasized the preservation and promotion of diverse African cultures, as traditional medicines are deeply intertwined with these cultural practices. He called on African governments to develop their own standards to promote and value traditional medicines, rather than relying solely on European medicine standards.

Hon Felix Okot Ogong from Uganda urged the PAP to take a leading role in promoting African Traditional Medicines. He also encouraged the consumption of traditional foods, highlighting their medicinal properties. Ogong recommended that African governments invest in technologies for extracting medicines from indigenous plants and provide funding to researchers to explore the potential of traditional medicine.

The discussion took place during the Sixth PAP Second Ordinary Session, held in Midrand, South Africa, under the African Union’s 2023 theme, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.” The session will continue until June 2, 2023. The PAP’s endorsement of traditional medicine serves as a significant step toward recognizing and harnessing Africa’s rich traditional healing practices while ensuring appropriate legal frameworks are established to regulate the trade of these products.

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