By Mohammed Yusuf/Addis Ababa
Ms Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), on Tuesday in Addis Ababa called for an improved Public Private Partnership (PPP) in financing Healthcare in Africa.
Songwe made the call at the Africa Business Health Forum, organised by UNECA, Aliko Dangote Foundation and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede’s GBCHealth. An 89-page study on Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa, jointly sponsored by the trio was presented at the event.
The forum also witnessed the launch of African Business Coalition for Health in Africa, a coalition of business leaders and philanthropists committed to a healthier business space and the environment.
Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr Abiy Ahmed, Mr Ismail Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, Mr Aig Imoukuede, Co-chairman GBC Health were among dignitaries at the event. Aliko Dangote was represented by his daughter, Hajiya Halima.
Songwe said PPP would play an important role in mobilising additional forms of financing and closing the health infrastructure gap on the Continent.
“In the last quarter of 2018, a trend was observed whereby multiple organisations developed tools to help public policy officials and the private sector made more informed decision on PPPs and standardise the process of applying best practices.
She told the forum that she has noticed another trend where new organisations have emerged working towards good governance in infrastructure through PPP.
Songwe said Africa’s healthcare systems demand significant investments to meet the needs of the growing populations, changing patterns of diseases and to meet the internationally agreed development index.
Speaking on behalf of her father, Mr Aliko Dangote, Chairman Dangote Group, Hajiya Halima Dangote, highlighted the vital relationship between health and economic growth and development in Africa.
She said that health and economic development must go hand in hand as healthy populations live longer, and are more productive and would be able to save more and support the economy.
Dangote said access to essential health services must be seen and considered as One of the most important aspects of development.
She said Africa’s target of healthy populations could be achieved through the PPPs.
“Governments from both developed and developing countries are increasingly looking at public-private partnerships as a way to expand access to higher quality health services by leveraging capital, managerial capacity, and knowhow from the private sector’’ Dangote said.
She said Aliko Dangote Foundation was committed to working with governments and key stakeholders for the development of impactful health initiative in Africa.
“I believe that private sector leaders have a strong role to play. In the past, I have in my country charged business leaders to commit at least One per cent of their profit after tax to support the health sector’’, she explained.
Mr Mitchel Sidibe, Executive Director, UN AIDS, said it was high time for both public and private sectors to work together to ensure improved health services delivery through various technologies available especially for those populations living in rural areas.
Sidibe said healthcare delivery should be seen by both public and private institutions as a fundamental right to all human beings. (NAN)