African leaders, ministers, CEOs including Aliko Dangote, and representatives from the African Union and United Nations are set to convene in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the inaugural of Africa Business: Health Forum.
The Forum set for February 12, 2019 is expected to 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.
The inter-relationship between the health of employees and economic growth is increasingly taking center 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.
The Forum will takeplace on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit.
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.
“From a business standpoint, we are beginning to see the opportunities that could be created by focusing on improving and investing in health.” says Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, a renowned financier and Co-Chair, GBCHealth.
He added; “There is a need to close the gap on the inequality of life in Africa from a healthcare standpoint 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.”
The Forum is the vision of GBCHealth, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (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, according to the press statement from the organizers.
The forum will culminate in the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABC Health), 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.
ABC Health 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.
Reiterating the need for business leaders to key into this vision, said: “The best way to move Africa forward is for businesses to step up in health care and take bold action,” said Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation.
“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,” he said.
Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) 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.”