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African financiers look to support health sector

A team of top African entrepreneurs have partnered to finance the continent’s health care industry as a way of spurring economic development.

The list of entrepreneurs, which boasts of names such as Aliko Dangote, launched the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), to see to it that, among other interventions, they narrow the annual $66 billion financing gap that Africa’s health care system grapples with.

The forum was launched at the sidelines of the recent 32nd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, a co-founder of ABCHealth, said: “Only partnerships will help solve the health challenges the continent faces. 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 spend. Given our income levels, it is no surprise that healthcare spend in Africa is grossly inadequate to meet Africa’s needs…”

The main founders of the forum include: GBCHealth, Aliko Dangote Foundation and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

Vera Songwe, the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and co-convener of the forum, explained that “A healthy Africa is a productive Africa; a productive Africa is a prosperous Africa. Health spending remains largely inadequate to meet the growing healthcare needs and Africa has a financing gap in this regard of at least $66 billion per annum.”

Algeria and Namibia are the only two African countries that spend more than five per cent of their of Gross Domestic Product on health.

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