Home East Africa Aliko Dangote Foundation, UNECA and GBCHealth partner to host health Forum

Aliko Dangote Foundation, UNECA and GBCHealth partner to host health Forum

by Ben Oduor

Top African leaders, including heads of state, Ministers, Chief Executives and representatives from the African Union and United Nations, will be converging at the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) in Ethiopia on 12th February 2019 at the beginning of the African Union Summit.

The Forum will bring together key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector.

The Forum is an eye-opener, coming at a time when the inter-relationship between the health of employees and economic growth is increasingly taking centre-stage in many African countries, and business is being pushed into exploring how to maximize shareholding value as a complex interplay between financial, human, social and environmental return.

African business entrepreneurs are also waking up to the reality that good health is good business, and investing in health is both a business and social imperative. Therefore, investing in African health systems is an opportunity to accelerate economic development and growth, prevent life-long disabilities, save millions of lives and move countries closer towards achieving SDGs and the continent’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 Aiglmoukhuede, financier and co-chair of GBCHealth, a venture that mobilizes business action to address workplace and community health issues, adding:

“There’s a need to close the gap on the inequality of life in Africa from a health care 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 instead become a source of prosperity.”

The Forum, which is a brainchild of GBCHealth, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Aliko Dangote Foundation, aims to drive business leadership, strengthen partnerships and facilitate investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa. ABCHealth will serve as the regional platform that unlocks 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, Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said: “The best way to move Africa forward is for businesses to set up in health care and take bold action.”

“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.” Good health is not only an outcome of, but also a foundation for development.”

According to Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary for UNECA, the Commission will play a role in the design and implementation of policy frameworks around 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,” she says.

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