Company Background


PHARMAKINA SA is an agro-industrial and pharmaceutical enterprise located in Bukavu, Prov. of South Kivu, DR. Congo, on the shore of Lake Kivu.

PHARMAKINA is the world’s principal producer and processor of quinine, a substance extracted from the bark of quinine trees and used to cure malaria, but is also employed as a noble bitter ingredient/flavor in the food industry. It is used in beverages such as tonics and bitters.

A history of growth and sustainability

PHARMAKINA was founded in 1961, then owned and operated by Boehringer Mannheim, Germany, and later by Roche, Switzerland. In 1999, it was bought out by management, today’s PHARMAKINA executives.

PHARMAKINA has managed to continue its activities over the past decades due to solid business practices, sustainable use of high demand resources, and assuming its responsibility to the local community as the largest private employer in Bukavu.

PHARMAKINA evolved from a supplier of raw material to the former European based mother companies into an integrated full supply chain manufacturer.

PHARMAKINA is the only pharmaceutical enterprise in Africa that produces quinine medicinal products to the shelf from natural resources and with full-fledged manufacturing facilities.



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    In-vitro Laboratory
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    Bark Harvesting

PHARMAKINA pays special attention to protecting and managing its own plantations located in North and South Kivu. To date, PHARMAKINA operates more than 1000 ha of Cinchona plantations. These plantations assure a reliable and continuous supply of the bark.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the origin of some 80% of world’s quinine. The largest planter is PHARMAKINA, followed by cooperatives and numerous small farmers. Their bark is processed at PHARMAKINA.

The core production element of PHARMAKINA is the in-vitro laboratory. The laboratory enables the company to:

– reproduce seedlings from clones which are resistant to the Phytophthora species. This infective agent devastated enormous extensions of quinine plantations in India, Indonesia and Congo in the 1980’s.

– select and grow seedlings for quinine trees with bark of high quinine content.

Processing Plant

The processing plant of PHARMAKINA is located in Bukavu, on the south shore of Lake Kivu.

Processing is done by the refining from the extract of quinine alkaloids from barks. PHARMAKINA produces three types of quinine: Quinine Sulfate; Quinine Hydrochloride; and Dihydrochloride.

These quinine salts are sold worldwide as APIs for pharmaceutical and soft drink industries.

For national and regional markets, PHARMAKINA transforms its own quinine salts into finished pharmaceutical products registered under the PHARMAKINA tradename. While Quinine Sulfate is transformed into tablets of 100mg, 250mg, 300mg, 500mg and 600mg, Quinine Hydrochloride or Dihydrochloride is transformed into syrups and solutions and sterile and non-sterile solutions.

PHARMAKINA produces and delivers more than 10 million quinine cures, to be used to treat malaria in the DRC.

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    API Reactor
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    Coating Machine
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    Quinine Tablets
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    Tablet Counter


PHARMAKINA offers employmnent in the region to 500 permanent staff and up to 1500 seasonal and fixed term co-workers as required by the production and harvest campaigns.

PHARMAKINA ensures and takes care of medical care for all personnel and their families, executed by the company’s medical department.

All employees are regularly trained in accordance with sector regulations.

All personnel are regularly trained in accordance with sector regulations.

Product Range

PHARMAKINA sells two ranges of products:

Finished pharmaceutical products (FPP) are mainly delivered to the domestic and regional markets.

View FPP Products

Quinine salts as active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are exported to the international market.

View API Products