Dangote, others launch coalition to improve health care delivery in Africa

13 Feb 2019
Financial Nigeria


The aim of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABC Health) is to mobilize business leaders, heads of government and other stakeholders to tackle basic health challenges and advance health outcomes in Africa.

Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation

The Aliko Dangote Foundation, GBCHealth and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have launched the African Business Coalition for Health (ABC Health) platform in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the endorsement of African heads of state. The aim of the coalition is to mobilize business leaders, heads of government and other stakeholders to tackle basic health challenges and advance health outcomes in Africa.

According to a statement released by Aliko Dangote Foundation on Wednesday, ABC Health was launched on Tuesday at the inaugural 2019 Africa Business: Health Forum (ABHF), which took place on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit. The forum examined opportunities to accelerate economic development and growth of the continent through a healthcare reform agenda that focuses on the wellbeing of employees for a more active and productive workforce.  

Heads of government present at the forum gave assurance of their readiness to collaborate with the private sector for a healthier Africa. The ABC Health is designed to drive business leadership, strengthen partnership and facilitate investments to change the healthcare delivery system in Africa.

In his remark, the Co-Chair of the GBCHealth – a private sector coalition focused on improving health outcomes – Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said, “While a significant progress in the funding of healthcare has been recorded in Africa, we are still very far from where we need to be to achieve the SDG Goal 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages).”

According to him, healthcare in Africa is constrained by scarce public funding and limited donor support. Out-of-pocket expenditure accounts for 36 per cent of Africa’s total healthcare spending, which is inadequate to meet Africa’s needs given the income levels. This has led to a financing gap of N66 billion per annum.

“The private sector and the public sector working together as partners have the potential to change Africa’s healthcare from doom and gloom to progress and results,” said Imoukhuede. “We have seen what the global private sector players accomplished in the fight against the AIDS epidemic through coalitions such as GBCHealth. This is an indication of the power of consolidated effort which Africa’s growing private sector can bring to solving our health challenges.”

Representing the Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote, the Foundation’s Executive Director, Halima Aliko-Dangote, said, “Africa’s healthcare systems demand significant investments to meet the needs of the growing population, changing patterns of diseases and the internationally-agreed development goals.”

By 2050, Africa will account for more than 50 per cent of global population growth. This provides an opportunity as well as a ticking time bomb if the continent fails to upgrade its health systems, according to the statement.

Halima added that there is a vital relationship between health and economic growth and development in Africa. As a healthy population lives longer, they are more productive and save more. “Access to essential health is an important aspect of development,” she said.

According to the Executive Secretary of the ECA, Vera Songwe, ABC Health provides a veritable private sector perspective on the solutions to Africa’s healthcare problems.

“To attract the participation of African private sector, there is a need to create an enabling environment,” said Songwe. “About $17.3 billion worth of drugs are imported into Africa, but if Africa can manufacture those drugs then it would be 17.3 billion worth of jobs created.”

Among the heads of government present at the Forum, according to the statement, were the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed; President of Djibouti, Omar Gilles; and the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi. They all endorsed the establishment of ABC Health.

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