Africa’s health challenges and investment opportunities under spotlight at United Nations General Assembly

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in partnership with GBCHealth and the Aliko Dangote Foundation is bringing together African leaders and other high profile personalities to discuss the continent’s health challenges and opportunities for investment.

The partners have organized a meeting themed ‘Africa’s Health and Financing: Pathways to Economic Growth and Prosperity’ which will be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 27 September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. 

It will bring together a number of African leaders, CEOs and business leaders, philanthropists, as well as high level representatives of the African Union, United Nations, and the African Development Bank to discuss issues relating to health financing in Africa, and early messages from the report on “Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa”.

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Clearly, African business entreprenuers are waking up to the reality that good health is good business, and investing in health is both a business and social imperative

There is no chance to fill the $33 billion gap to achieving Agenda 2063 and the SDGs without the private sector, but also the private sector changing to work on health.

By 2030, business opportunities in health and wellness sector will reach $1.8 trillion in current prices (Business and Sustainable Development Commission). Opportunities are primarily in risk pooling; and technological advances including remote patient monitoring and telehealth.

The African youth bulge represents a huge potential opportunity for business across the continent. Harnessing this potential into a positive force for development through investments in health, empowerment, education and employment is the greatest challenge of the next 15 years.

Overall, integrated health programing will support the development of resilient health systems allowing for a higher standard of preventative healthcare, improved surveillance to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks spreading, and rapid response in case of emergency.

The Africa’s Health and Financing: Pathways to Economic Growth and Prosperity, the event offers the opportunity to spotlight the private sector’s engagements and commitments in health during UNGA. It will also serve as an opportunity to consult and build support for a number of activities in advance of the African Business: Health Forum in early February 2019.

Among these will be a preview of summary findings and messages from the publication on the state of Africa’s health sector from a macro-economic perspective. Discussions on the findings shared and, feedback generated during the meeting will inform any revisions of the report.

The final report will be launched in early February 2019 at the AU Summit.

The Africa Business: Heath Forum 2019, will see the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in partnership with GBCHealth, the Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria collaborate to bring together a number of African leaders, CEOs and business leaders, philanthropists, as well as high-level representatives of the African Union, United Nations, and the African Development Bank to discuss issues relating to health and business in Africa.

The Africa Business: Heath Forum will launch the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth).  This Africa led initiative was announced at last year’s Bloomberg Global Business Forum by Aliko Dangote, the African business magnate.

ABCHealth is a partnership between the Aliko Dangote Foundation and GBCHealth. Since the announcement, the partners have worked together to develop the foundation for a regional platform to connect African business leaders and philanthropists to mobilize coordinated action on health.

There is a strong rationale for the private sector to play a role in shaping health markets in Africa. The continent currently has 400 companies with revenue of more than $1 billion per year, and these companies are growing faster, and are more profitable in general, than their global peers. Beyond these fast-moving regional leaders, small and growing businesses create 80% of the continent’s employment and are stoking the engines of growth.

Against this backdrop, there’s a new cadre of responsible business leaders and philanthropists who understand the value and promise of sustainable large-scale investments in African countries, and are poised to make an even bigger impact on the continent’s people and economies.

 “The coalition can provide much-needed guidance to ensure activities and investments are driving results in areas where the private sector can have real impact, focusing on holistic and integrated solutions that cross borders.”

 “It’s an ambitious and bold project,” said Mr. Dangote, “but the only way to move Africa forward is to take bold moves, to think big, dream big and do big things together – breaking down silos, working across borders and working across sectors – with government and with each other.”

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has the mandate of promoting the economic and social development of its Member States, fostering intra-regional integration, and promoting international cooperation for Africa’s development.

GBCHealth, is committed to leveraging the full resources of the business community to meet today’s most pressing global health challenges, working together to make a healthier world for their employees, for the communities in which they work and for the world at large;

Aliko Dangote Foundation, has as its main objective to reduce the number of lives lost to malnutrition and diseases by combating severe Acute Malnutrition in children in Africa;

ABCHealth, helps companies and their leadership contribute more directly to meeting national and regional health goals in the context of SDG Agenda 2030 and Africa Agenda 2063 — ultimately improving the standard of living, quality of life, and the overall health and wellbeing of all Africans.

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This is an official press statement republished by Today News Africa as received. As Africa's leading newspaper in the United States registered and headquartered in the District of Columbia, our mission is to provide answers to questions our readers have about the continent of Africa in many areas, including business and investment, economy, environment, tourism, politics, human rights, climate change, and much more.

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