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Business urged to close sh674b health funding gap

By Samuel Sanya

Added 19th February 2019 10:33 AM

"Health spending remains largely inadequate to meet the growing healthcare needs and Africa has a financing gap in this regard of at least $66 billion per annum”

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Aliko Dangote the chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation. AFP Photo

"Health spending remains largely inadequate to meet the growing healthcare needs and Africa has a financing gap in this regard of at least $66 billion per annum”

The African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), a private sector-led coalition of companies and philanthropists has been launched, bringing private and public sector actors together to positively transform healthcare for Africans growing population through fundraising. 

GBCHealth, Aliko Dangote Foundation and the UN Economic Commission for Africa jointly held the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit. 

It brought together leaders from government and business with a strong appeal for greater collaboration between the private and the public sector on health outcomes.  

This garnered commitments from public sector leaders including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed; the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi; and the President of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh as well as business leaders present, to change drastically health outcomes in Africa. 

Business and public sector leaders at the forum lauded this initiative as a timely game-changer to improve the health sector in Africa.   

A vision of GBCHealth and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, ABCHealth will mobilise private sector champions committed to advancing health outcomes across Africa.

Beyond the “usual suspects”, a reference used by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede to qualify current health champions, ABCHealth will engage a new crop of African business leaders in the drive to change the reality of the average African as far as health is concerned. 

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, co-founder of ABCHealth, and co-chair, GBCHealth said, “Only partnerships will help solve the health challenges the continent faces. Healthcare in Africa is constrained by scarce public funding and limited donor support; out-of-pocket expenditure accounts for 36% of Africa’s total healthcare spend, 

“Given our income levels, it is no surprise that healthcare spend in Africa is grossly inadequate to meet Africa’s needs leading to a financing gap of N66bn (sh674b) per annum.” 

In his keynote remarks, Aliko Dangote, chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation, said the Africa Business: Health Forum would identify issues and solutions to Africa’s health challenges with a view to mobilising the will to confront it head-on. The Foundation’s executive director, Halima Aliko-Dangote, delivered his remarks.

Dangote stated, “Governments from both developed and developing countries are increasingly looking at public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a way to expand access to higher-quality health services by leveraging capital, managerial capacity, and know-how from the private sector.” 

On her part, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and co-convener of the forum, Vera Songwe said, “A healthy Africa is a productive Africa; a productive Africa is a prosperous Africa. Health spending remains largely inadequate to meet the growing healthcare needs and Africa has a financing gap in this regard of at least $66 billion per annum”.

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