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Dangote, UNECA, others call for public-private synergy towards improved healthcare for Africans

Africa’s richest billionaire and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote, alongside the GBCHealth and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have called for more…

Africa’s richest billionaire and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote, alongside the GBCHealth and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have called for more synergy between governments and private sectors toward providing improved healthcare for Africans in the continent.

They made the call on Thursday via a joint statement as top African leaders including Heads of States, Ministers, CEOs as well as representatives from the African Union and United Nations are expected to converge at the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) taking place in Ethiopia on 12th February 2019 on the sideline of the 32nd African Union Summit.

According to the statement, the forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector.

“From a business standpoint, we are beginning to see the opportunities that could be created by focusing on improving and investing in health,” says AigbojeAig-Imoukhuede, a renowned financier and Co-Chair of GBCHealth.

“There is a need to close the gap on the inequality of life in Africa from a healthcare stand point and we must look to develop a universal plan that shifts the needle as far as healthcare in Africa is concerned. Health must cease being a source of pain, and become a source of prosperity instead,” he added.

The AB:HF is the vision of GBCHealth, UNECA, and Aliko Dangote Foundation, with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.

The forum will culminate in the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), a coalition that will mobilize a core group of private sector champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health systems across Africa, the statement added.

It noted that the ABCHealth will serve as the regional platform to unlock synergies that will contribute more directly to a healthy and prosperous Africa, enabled by collaboration and business partnerships.

Commenting on the need for business leaders to key into this vision, Aliko Dangote, said “The best way to move Africa forward is for businesses to step up in health care and take bold action.

“We must work together, across industries and with governments and communities, to foster innovation and drive more strategic investments that benefit us collectively.

“The time is now for a new era of cooperation in Africa that will position its people, communities and businesses for success, now and in the future.”

Also commenting, Vera Songwe, UNECA’s Executive Secretary, said “the Commission will play a role in the design and implementation of policy frameworks around the financing of healthcare through Public-Private Partnerships and the private sector.

“Building on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), this will also encourage regional trans-boundary health investments especially in the pharmaceutical sector.”

The statement noted that the inter-relationship between the health of employees and economic growth is increasingly taking centre stage in many African countries, and business is being pushed to exploring how to maximize shareholder value as a complex interplay between financial, human, social and environmental return.

“African business entrepreneurs are waking up to the reality that good health is good business, and investing in health is both a business and social imperative with studies showing that by 2030, business opportunities in health and wellness sector will reach $1.8 trillion in current prices.

“Investing in African health systems is an opportunity to accelerate economic development and growth, contribute to saving millions of lives, prevent life-long disabilities, and move countries closer to achieving SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063,” it stated.

Daily Trust recalls that Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) is a platform instituted by GBCHealth, UNECA and Aliko Dangote Foundation to broker private sector commitments to healthcare across Africa.