The 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) opened this week with over 100 heads of state and governments in New York to attend the annual high-level session. And The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in collaboration with African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) is bringing together African leaders from business, governance and pharma industries to discuss the challenges faced by Africa’s health industry as well as to highlight investment opportunities in the continent with the Africa Investment Summit for Health on 20 September as part of the UNGA programme.
UNECA and ABCHealth, an African-led partnership, aims to bring together businesses, governments, development institutions and philanthropists to significantly increase access to vital health commodities and supplies in Africa. The initiative will be launched at the high-level virtual summit, with a series of events internationally to galvanise global business and leaders to drive transformational action.
ABCHealth, launched in 2019 amidst growing calls for urgent action among the public and private sector are the leading lights trying valiantly to transform healthcare for a growing African population in desperate need for healthcare reform.
ABCHealth Chairman Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede speaking to eNCA in 2020 stated, “each citizen in the world should have access to basic healthcare at an affordable level.” Returning to UNGA the second Africa Investment Summit for Health is another opportunity to catalyse and mobilise governments, business and finance towards manufacturing medicines.
After China, the continent of Africa is the biggest market with 1.38 billion potential customers. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Africa imports over 97% of the drugs and medical equipment that it needs.Therein lies the potential with a huge demand creating a unique opportunity for job creation, highly skilled diaspora who want to come back and contribute to making a difference .
African investors, and outside investors, have an exciting opportunity and one that has strong returns to deliver. Aig-Imoukhuede takes inspiration from the manufacturing of cement in Africa, an industry that fully realised a gap in the market with continental demands for cement growing exponentially.
ABCHealth, a NGO is responding to this challenge. The goal is to create a blueprint for the local production of drugs and medical equipment in West Africa and the rest of the continent, drawing on the lessons of the parent AfCFTA-anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative. If the Gates Foundation is investing $5Billion in Africa over 5 years; this should be the benchmark for the potential of ABCHealth.
“Let’s save lives together and make profits in the process.” Aig-Imoukhuede expects the Africa Investment Summit for Health at UNGA to be another chance to examine the value chains for the health industry. “We are going to look at opportunities within the value chains for investment.” And this he feels will be a chance to sell the opportunity that exists in Africa for and to manufacturers, entrepreneurs, investors, businesses and governments.
Governments from developed and developing countries are increasingly looking at public-private partnerships as a way to expand access to better healthcare. With ABCHeath, business leaders can now directly contribute to a healthy and prosperous Africa by enabling collaborations and partnerships. This many industry experts believe will drive social capital up whilst at the same time delivering a vehicle for potential profit.
The need for commitments that are coordinated, connected, fast-moving, transparent, results-oriented, and equitable at the highest level is needed. In other words, a complete revamp of Africa’s health system and ABCHealth and Africa Investment Summit on Health is the first step in the right direction.
Register now to attend the Africa Investment Summit on Health 2021: https://africainvestmentsummit-health.com/register/
You can also follow the speakers at Africa Investment Summit on Health 2021 at https://africainvestmentsummit-health.com/schedule/
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