September 23rd, 2021, New York, USA - The Africa Investment Summit on Health has been hailed as the long-awaited continental effort to galvanize cohesive actions that will help scale and achieve capacity in the African production of prescription drugs and health supplies.
The virtual summit organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH) hosted business leaders as well as Rwanda minister of health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije; African Union Commission (AUC) deputy chairperson, Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa; CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki; Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong; The Africa Medicine Agency (AMA) Special Envoy, Dr. Michel Sidibe; Aliko Dangote Foundation CEO, Ms Zouera Youssoufou; and Honourable Matthew Hancock, Member of Parliament of the UK amongst many other distinguished speakers.
ABCHealth was initiated in 2019 as a collaboration between philanthropists, business champions and development institutions. Chairman of the board and founder of Coronation Capital Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, expressed his optimism:
“It is indeed satisfying to see our partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) mature to this level of impact. The pandemic has compelled us to act with even greater urgency and our priority is to attract financing for Africa’s health sector. Together with support from the international community, African governments and African business must dispel the notion that we cannot manufacture the medicines and equipment for the continent whose population carries the highest disease burden. We are also proud to announce the West Africa AfCFTA-Anchored Pharma Initiative was launched this week. This initiative is designed to foster local production of drugs and medical equipment in West Africa and ultimately the rest of the continent, drawing on the lessons of the parent AfCFTA-anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative.”
Dr. Vera Songwe, United Nations Under-Secretary-General & Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, revealed the enormous opportunities in Africa’s healthcare market:
“Since the launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, Africa’s public and private sector are grasping the opportunities for economic prosperity. Imports of medicines and medical equipment that rose from USD 4.2billion in 1998 to USD20billion in 2018 are an example of the enormous business opportunities in Africa’s healthcare market … At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa demonstrated its ability to pool procurement, create instruments, institutions and apply the power of innovative financing to solve our biggest challenge- getting vaccines. By working together, we can do a lot more to improve Africa’s health outcomes.”
Dr. Roger Glass, Director, Fogarty International Center & Associate Director, Global Health, NIH; said; “With a stronger Africa R&D, the continent’s health sector can be robust. We believe that in the next few decades, economic advances in Africa will be driven by science and technology and improvements in health.”
Zouera Youssofou, Managing Director/CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation & Board Director for ABCHealth; “This is a call to action - Africa has what it needs to improve its health outcomes – it has political will, it has pioneers in the manufacturing sector, it has funders, it has capacity. We know what to do, we know what it takes, we have what we need – let us just do it.”
The summit, moderated by Dr. Olusoji Adeyi, President Resilient Health Systems, highlighted key findings from the second edition of the Health and Economic Growth in Africa Report,‘Doing Health Differently in Africa: Now and Beyond COVID-19’. Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the Africa Medicines Agency (AMA).
Link to the report and session: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWrVCXzyX-7KZQ0h63JGz0Q
For further details on membership and Presentation of Health and Economic Growth in Africa Report, HEGA II; contact the CEO of ABChealth, Mories Atoki.
ABCHealth is a coalition of businesses, philanthropists and development institutions that collectively seek greater private sector contribution towards Africa’s health needs at national, regional and continental levels.The Coalition will develop and deploy impactful health programs across Africa, deepen knowledge, build evidence for future investments and strengthen coordination among African business leaders, companies, philanthropists and global business networks for coordinated action on health. Aliko Dangote is Chairman and President of Dangote Industries Limited, and Chairman of the Aliko Dangote Foundation through which he Co-Founded ABCHealth.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)'s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. ECA’s strength derives from its role as the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and sub-regional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa's priorities.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)) is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research. The NIH conducts its own scientific research through its Intramural Research Program (IRP) and provides major biomedical research funding to non-NIH research facilities through its Extramural Research Program.
Ernest Chi Cho
Public Information Officer, ECA