Healthcare products manufacturer Johnson&Johnson has set up an operations hub for East Africa in Nairobi.
The move is a departure from working through distributors in the region, in what the company says will help them understand the market better.
The Group Chairman Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ms Jane Griffiths, said the Nairobi hub would be key to developing new vaccines and devices for health issues unique to the region.
“Having a foot in the region will allow us to better understand the realities and the challenges specific to East Africa and come up with solutions and partnerships which best addresses the issues,” said Ms Griffiths.
She added the choice of Nairobi was arrived at because of political stability and the market potential.
Mr Jaak Peeters, the Johnson&Johnsons global head of public health said the company already developed an Ebola vaccine and a cure for the drug-resistant strain of TB.
The East African office becomes the third after the Ghana one was launched on Tuesday. The other office is in South Africa.