AFRICA – The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), have successfully hosted a virtual Africa Investment Summit on Health 2021(AIS) on the margins of the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
The summit convened African Heads of Government and Ministers, continental, regional and global business leaders, and Development Institutions together to discuss strategies that will significantly increase access to vital health commodities and supplies in Africa leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and African Medicines Agency (AMA).
“We are confident of the impact this partnership will bring to bear on the continent. It is our firm belief that with the public and private sectors working together, combining political will with business knowledge, Africa’s health sector can be built to the point where it will deliver affordable health to Africans in an equitable manner,” Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, ABCHealth Chairman, stated.
Vera Songwe, ECA Executive Secretary, stated: “Investing in health is not just a social good, it also makes a good business case. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, business opportunities in the healthcare and wellness sector in Africa were estimated to be US$259 billion by the year 2030, with the potential to create 16 million jobs.”
The pharmaceutical industry alone was estimated to be US$60 billion in 2020 and is still growing. The AfCFTA-anchored Pharma Initiative represents lucrative private sector investment and innovation opportunities that will change lives, reduce poverty and contribute to Africa’s inclusive and sustainable economic development.
It in keen to note that health care in Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst in the world, with few countries able to spend the US$34 to US$40 a year per person that the World Health Organization considers the minimum for basic health care.
Donor attention has yielded remarkable efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. But most of the region lacks the infrastructure to deliver health care and faces a severe shortage of trained medical personnel. As Africa’s economies improve, the demand for good quality health care will only increase further.
Based on the research in a new report, IFC estimates that over the next decade, US$25-US$30 billion in new investment will be needed to meet Africa’s health care demand.