Friends Africa Emerges Winner of the 2014 ONE Africa Award

The ONE Campaign on Sunday 30 November, unveiled Friends Africa (Friends of the Global Fund Africa) as the winner of the $100,000 ONE Africa Award, 2014. The award was presented to Friends Africa representative, Mr Didier Kindambu, by ONE Africa Executive Director, Dr. Sipho S. Moyo during the Big Brother Africa Hotshots live eviction show in Johannesburg.

 

“This year, over 120 impressive organizations from 22 countries applied for the ONE Award. I wish to congratulate Friends Africa for the outstanding work they do and for this well-deserved recognition. Through partnerships, innovation and proactivity, they continue to make an excellent contribution to the fight against preventable diseases in Nigeria and in Africa” said Dr. Sipho Moyo.

 

 

Speaking about the award, Dr Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba, CEO/ Founder, Friends Africa expressed her profound gratitude to ONE “on behalf of the entire team and board of Friends Africa, we are delighted and humbled to receive this award. This is the third time we will qualify as a finalist and we remain thankful to the One Africa Award team for recognizing our efforts and that of numerous partners on ensuring a HIV free African continent. We are indeed inspired to do more”.

 

Each year, The ONE Campaign awards the prize of $100,000 which is underwritten by an endowment from The Howard G. Buffet Foundation to recognize and reward the exceptional work of an African organization that seeks to fight extreme poverty and preventable diseases by working toward the achievement of one or more of the Millennium Development Goals. The award is in its seventh year running.

 

The other finalists includes; BudgIT (Nigeria) and The International Community of Women Living with HIV East Africa (ICWEA)Uganda.

 

Friends Africa is thrilled to receive this award and remains committed to continuing the fight against HIV/ AIDS, TB & Malaria in Africa. For more information about Friends Africa, please visit www.friends-africa.org and for more details about ONE, please visit www.one.org.

PRESS RELEASE – GIVING WOMEN AND GIRLS EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT PRIORITY

Women and Girls Education and Development given priority as Nigeria’s First Lady convenes the inaugural Women & Girls Summit 2014 in Collaboration with the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) & Friends Africa

(October 21, 2014) The Women and Girls Summit 2014 convened by the First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Dame (Dr.)  Patience Faka Jonathan in collaboration with the National Centre for Women Development and Friends Africa on October 13th & 14th in Abuja, was a successful commemoration of the International Day of the Girl-Child with leaders from  government institutions, indigenous and International Organizations and Gender Advocates, Students, Civil Society Representatives, Women, seasoned Speakers and Technical Experts from within and outside Nigeria in attendance.

The Summit, with the theme- Reinforcing the Agenda for Girl-Child Education, focused on developing an all-inclusive policy framework that will help Government achieve its objectives of addressing the immediate and long term needs of the Girl-Child.  The Summit focused on Education, Health, Safety and Security and Economic Empowerment for Women and the Girl-Child in Nigeria. It provided a platform for dialogue on existing barriers, challenges and progress from all stakeholders, giving the girls an opportunity to propose a way forward for improving education in Nigeria.

In her opening address, the First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria stated that “…there is no meaningful development without women; individuals and corporate organizations in Nigeria must continue to support and partner with women to realize the goals and objectives of the summit”. She also pointed to the fact that With the support of well-meaning Nigerians, women will be able to care for themselves, and also contribute to the development of their families, communities and the nation”.

Hajiya Zainab Maina, MFR, CON, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development on behalf of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, congratulated the First Lady for a successful summit with high turn-out and greatly commended the effort of the National Center for Women’s Development and Friends Africa noting that the summit will be a reference point and will contribute to national development.

According to Mr. President “… we cannot claim to be developing if we do not recognize the sacrifices women and girls have had to make in this great journey. From the Aba Women Riot of 1929 over double taxation by the then colonial administration, the fortunes of women and girls have continued to improve as a result of access to education. Women and girls represent the heartbeat of any nation. Our women and girls hold the key to the untapped potentials of this great country.”

Speaking further, His Excellency noted that “… no meaningful development can take place if issues affecting women and girls are not factored into national development processes. This is why my administration believes that for us to achieve the goals of the Transformation Agenda, these issues must be at the fulcrum of national discourse”.

On her part, the co-convener of the Summit, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, National Centre for Women Development, Lady Onyeka Onwenu, MFR, said that “The summit was a “game changer” in policy planning and implementing programmes for the Girl-Child and women in the country as it drew attention of policy makers to the important issues of the Girl-Child and created a platform for high level discourse on the challenges confronting women and girls in Nigeria. The summit outcomes include new strategies for economic empowerment for marginalized women and girls.”

The CEO/Founder, Friends Africa, Dr. Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba in her speech noted that “…The special role of women in the field of sustainable development has already been acknowledged globally, girls are change agents, they play a crucial role in solving the most persistent development problems facing the world today. By investing in their economic potential through education, issues such as HIV and AIDS can be resolved and the cycle of poverty can be broken.”

In the keynote address, Chimdi Neliakuchukwu (16 years old girl-child), noted that “…Within social development, lies the factors that can bring about its destruction. I speak for the girls in my generation when I say that though we desire to be educated, we do not want to be educated to the point where the lines of right and wrong begin to get blurry. We desire to be citizens with a healthy dose of Godly fear leading us to imbibe and joyfully uphold moral values. So as the Girl-Children of today, we desire our mothers in positions of power and our fathers too, to ensure that we are given qualitative education that puts us on the platform of competitive advantage with the rest of the world, while at the same time doing all that can be done to ensure we continue to uphold the values that we as a society have been known for from the old days.”

In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu emphasized that “…as Nigeria successfully contained the Ebola epidemic, the Federal Ministry of Health is determined to deploy the same exhaustive strategies to manage the health issues affecting women and girls.”

In her contributions, the Country Representative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Mairo Mandara noted that “…the reality is that children’s programs focused on 0-5 year-olds, youth programs tend to focus on males and older groups, and women’s programs don’t typically capture adolescent girls. Programs that do reach girls rarely address the ones most at risk. To break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, programmes must be designed for, and measure the impact on, girls and their education”.

The Summit convened by the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in collaboration with National Centre for Women Development, (NCWD) and Friends Africa as an annual event was targeted at achieving the following:

  • Specific emphasis on strategic importance of the Girl-Child to the development of the society and the nation at large;
  • Engaging key stakeholders of Girl-Child Education in Nigeria for the purpose of discussing and evolving effective strategies on how to curb situations that threaten the well-being and ultimate success of the Girl-Child”.

Some others include; “demonstrating government’s commitment towards the eradication of threats to the education and development of every Girl-Child in Nigeria; inspiring hope for success in the minds of affected categories of Girl-Child in Nigeria and beyond and to sensitizing the public on the need to complement Government’s efforts at tackling prevalent Girl-Child and gender related challenges in Nigeria.

The high point of the Summit was the presentation of the voices of the Girl-Child tagged “Girlifesto” to the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Dame (Dr.) Patience Faka Jonathan and appointment of a child ambassadors from the entertainment industry, Maryam Booth as Advocate of the Girl-Child in Nigeria.

The Summit is expected to release a communiqué highlighting key conclusions from the meeting, as well as, key announcements and decisions agreed by the thematic working groups. The Summit outcomes will be disseminated on various global development platforms, circulated to stakeholders at the National, Regional and International levels, as well as the United Nations Post 2015 Development Planning Unit.

PRESS RELEASE – GIVING WOMEN AND GIRLS EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT PRIORITY

Women and Girls Education and Development given priority as Nigeria’s First Lady convenes the inaugural Women & Girls Summit 2014 in Collaboration with the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) & Friends Africa

(October 21, 2014) The Women and Girls Summit 2014 convened by the First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Dame (Dr.)  Patience Faka Jonathan in collaboration with the National Centre for Women Development and Friends Africa on October 13th & 14th in Abuja, was a successful commemoration of the International Day of the Girl-Child with leaders from  government institutions, indigenous and International Organizations and Gender Advocates, Students, Civil Society Representatives, Women, seasoned Speakers and Technical Experts from within and outside Nigeria in attendance.

The Summit, with the theme- Reinforcing the Agenda for Girl-Child Education, focused on developing an all-inclusive policy framework that will help Government achieve its objectives of addressing the immediate and long term needs of the Girl-Child.  The Summit focused on Education, Health, Safety and Security and Economic Empowerment for Women and the Girl-Child in Nigeria. It provided a platform for dialogue on existing barriers, challenges and progress from all stakeholders, giving the girls an opportunity to propose a way forward for improving education in Nigeria.

In her opening address, the First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria stated that “…there is no meaningful development without women; individuals and corporate organizations in Nigeria must continue to support and partner with women to realize the goals and objectives of the summit”. She also pointed to the fact that With the support of well-meaning Nigerians, women will be able to care for themselves, and also contribute to the development of their families, communities and the nation”.

Hajiya Zainab Maina, MFR, CON, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development on behalf of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, congratulated the First Lady for a successful summit with high turn-out and greatly commended the effort of the National Center for Women’s Development and Friends Africa noting that the summit will be a reference point and will contribute to national development.

According to Mr. President “… we cannot claim to be developing if we do not recognize the sacrifices women and girls have had to make in this great journey. From the Aba Women Riot of 1929 over double taxation by the then colonial administration, the fortunes of women and girls have continued to improve as a result of access to education. Women and girls represent the heartbeat of any nation. Our women and girls hold the key to the untapped potentials of this great country.”

Speaking further, His Excellency noted that “… no meaningful development can take place if issues affecting women and girls are not factored into national development processes. This is why my administration believes that for us to achieve the goals of the Transformation Agenda, these issues must be at the fulcrum of national discourse”.

On her part, the co-convener of the Summit, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, National Centre for Women Development, Lady Onyeka Onwenu, MFR, said that “The summit was a “game changer” in policy planning and implementing programmes for the Girl-Child and women in the country as it drew attention of policy makers to the important issues of the Girl-Child and created a platform for high level discourse on the challenges confronting women and girls in Nigeria. The summit outcomes include new strategies for economic empowerment for marginalized women and girls.”

The CEO/Founder, Friends Africa, Dr. Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba in her speech noted that “…The special role of women in the field of sustainable development has already been acknowledged globally, girls are change agents, they play a crucial role in solving the most persistent development problems facing the world today. By investing in their economic potential through education, issues such as HIV and AIDS can be resolved and the cycle of poverty can be broken.”

In the keynote address, Chimdi Neliakuchukwu (16 years old girl-child), noted that “…Within social development, lies the factors that can bring about its destruction. I speak for the girls in my generation when I say that though we desire to be educated, we do not want to be educated to the point where the lines of right and wrong begin to get blurry. We desire to be citizens with a healthy dose of Godly fear leading us to imbibe and joyfully uphold moral values. So as the Girl-Children of today, we desire our mothers in positions of power and our fathers too, to ensure that we are given qualitative education that puts us on the platform of competitive advantage with the rest of the world, while at the same time doing all that can be done to ensure we continue to uphold the values that we as a society have been known for from the old days.”

In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu emphasized that “…as Nigeria successfully contained the Ebola epidemic, the Federal Ministry of Health is determined to deploy the same exhaustive strategies to manage the health issues affecting women and girls.”

In her contributions, the Country Representative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Mairo Mandara noted that “…the reality is that children’s programs focused on 0-5 year-olds, youth programs tend to focus on males and older groups, and women’s programs don’t typically capture adolescent girls. Programs that do reach girls rarely address the ones most at risk. To break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, programmes must be designed for, and measure the impact on, girls and their education”.

The Summit convened by the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in collaboration with National Centre for Women Development, (NCWD) and Friends Africa as an annual event was targeted at achieving the following:

  • Specific emphasis on strategic importance of the Girl-Child to the development of the society and the nation at large;
  • Engaging key stakeholders of Girl-Child Education in Nigeria for the purpose of discussing and evolving effective strategies on how to curb situations that threaten the well-being and ultimate success of the Girl-Child”.

Some others include; “demonstrating government’s commitment towards the eradication of threats to the education and development of every Girl-Child in Nigeria; inspiring hope for success in the minds of affected categories of Girl-Child in Nigeria and beyond and to sensitizing the public on the need to complement Government’s efforts at tackling prevalent Girl-Child and gender related challenges in Nigeria.

The high point of the Summit was the presentation of the voices of the Girl-Child tagged “Girlifesto” to the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Dame (Dr.) Patience Faka Jonathan and appointment of a child ambassados from the entertainment industry, Maryam Booth as Advocate of the Girl-Child in Nigeria.

The Summit is expected to release a communiqué highlighting key conclusions from the meeting, as well as, key announcements and decisions agreed by the thematic working groups. The Summit outcomes will be disseminated on various global development platforms, circulated to stakeholders at the National, Regional and International levels, as well as the United Nations Post 2015 Development Planning Unit.

 

 

What We Are Reading

Supporting entrepreneurship in Africa: Why mentoring is so important for social good

Global business and the people involved in it are very much alive to the fact that you can do good, AND do well. We are seeing the rise of social entrepreneurship where businesses exist with the dual purpose of making money and achieving social good. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive, and the ability to create a sustainable movement or a platform for change is being supercharged by coexisting alongside commercial aims.

We all know that the needs in this world can seem overwhelming. Yet, we are also seeing that by focusing on one cause a ‘conscious capitalist’ can have a massive impact, from providing clean drinking water and education, to health care. Corporations can give back to the local communities in which they live and serve.

Taking this thinking another step further, what Africa needs is job creation and economic growth. These two factors will ensure that there are customers with purchasing power in the system to consume the products and services of our social entrepreneurs. There is a virtuous circle here. So how do you support entrepreneurs to create jobs and growth? There are several obvious answers and one of them is money. However, the statistics (around 75%) on how many small businesses fail despite start-up capital are still staggering. Something more fundamental is required.

Let’s look at the facts. An entrepreneur is someone with a vision. And a passion to see that vision become reality. In between the vision and the passion there may be some gaps in practical knowledge. Yes, they will take risks and yes, they will keep trying until something works. But what if you could short-circuit that loop to ensure more would-be business owners and therefore employers were successful? Through mentoring, a form of social networking and informal education, you can! ashish thakkar

The issues facing entrepreneurs have been well documented: inadequate access to suitable financing options, insufficient local skills and talent, restrictive policy and regulation and lack of access to business support services. These are issues that I know well as I started my business in Uganda at the age of 15. Since then, I have driven the growth of the company from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognised multi-sector investment group that exists today. Alongside that group I also established a Foundation.

Mara Foundation is seeking to provide services that help to solve some of these issues, in particular access to expert advice and mentoring. One initiative, Mara Mentor, is an online community that enables entrepreneurs to connect with inspiring business leaders, join online discussions and access online training. Accessible via a website (mentor.mara.com) and app available on all leading app stores, this innovative approach allows many more entrepreneurs to access expert advice and have the opportunity to receive support as they face day to day issues in their business.

Mara Mentor has a network of entrepreneurs signed up from countries across Africa, including Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa and in a range of industries including, Agriculture, IT and social enterprise. These entrepreneurs have an idea and the passion to succeed but are seeking advice on how to turn those ambitions into a reality. There are common areas where entrepreneurs are asking for support, from figuring out if their business idea is viable and developing a business plan to setting up their finances and managing people in their team. Skills that are well known for many working in corporate companies can be game-changing for entrepreneurs.

Mara Mentor is inviting new mentors to join. If you would like to become a Mara Mentor, you only need to have five years or more business experience, own a business, or work within a reputable company. From just nine minutes a week you can get involved and share your advice and wisdom. If you have time to do more there are plenty of options to do so from creating videos to hosting online forum discussions.

If you are an entrepreneur or even someone with ideas about how to make your life better come and join the conversation. Become a Mara Mentee, help others, yourself and ultimately Africa!

Ashish J. Thakkar

Launch of the UN MDG Goals 2014 Report

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals 2014 Report was launched on the 7th of July simultaneously globally. The report is an annual assessment of the progress made towards the goals globally and regionally. It was compiled by 27 UN and international agencies and produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. At the event in Lagos, Mr. Oluseyi Soremekun, the National Information Officer, UNIC presented some of the key facts from the report, stating that considerable progress was being made globally. Speaking of Nigeria, he said the country’s also making progress, although there is more progress recorded in some areas than others. Some of the facts he stated are below:

Goal 1:

–          700 million people saved from extreme poverty

–          140 million people from hunger

–          1 in 4 children still suffer under-nutrition, although chronic hunger has been eradicated

–          Target at half and close to being achieved.

Goal 2

–          Gender parity reached in gender education.as at 2012, 98 girls to every 100 boys enrolled in primary education

–          Many children are still denied the right to primary education, with 1 in 4 children in developing countries likely to drop out of school.

–          There are about 58 million children out of school, half of them from conflict-affected regions

Goal 4

–          Child mortality fell by 50%

–          6.6 million children under the age of 5 die from preventable diseases especially Pneumonia, Diarrhea and Malaria, before their 5th birthday

Goal 5

–          Maternal mortality reduced

Goal 6

–          9.5 million people receiving HIV treatment in developing treatment

–          6.6 million receiving ART since 1995

–          56 million free of TB, saving 22 million lives

–          Over 700 million bed nets delivered to Sub-Saharan Africa

Goal 7

–          Drinking water target reached

–          89% of the world’s population have access to good water, up from 74% in 1990

–          Over 2.6 billion people have access to drinking water

–          Over 2.5 billion people don’t have access to sanitation

Goal 8

–          Official development assistance reached the highest level ($138 billion)

–          17 out of 28 donors worldwide increased their commitment

In Nigeria,

Goal 4

–          Fair reach

–          Goal likely to be achieved

–          Policies supporting goal are average

Goal 5

–          Strong reach

–          Goal very likely to be achieved

–          Policies supporting goal are very strong

Goal 6

–          Fair reach

–          Goal likely to be achieved

–          Policies supporting goal are average

Goal 7

–          Poor reach

–          Goal not likely to be achieved

–          No policies supporting achievement of goal

Goal 8

–          Target met

–          Strong policies supporting goal

H.E Mr. Daouda Toure, Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Nigeria was represented by Ms. Colleen Zamba, Economic Advisor at the UNDP Nigeria. She stated that significant progress is being made in Nigeria, stating that Nigeria is a leader in the continent in the achievement of the MDGs. She acknowledged that while progress is being made, there are still areas to be improved upon and that the United Nations is working closely with the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the attainment of the Goals. She also stated that a new set of goals incorporating some overlooked areas and some unattained goals will be introduced into the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Capitalizing on Competencies:Partnering to Eliminate Malaria (Social Media Toolkit)

Click below to download the social media toolkit for the CAMA Annual Technical Forum.

CAMA Workshop Social Media Package Edit JC 29 June

Ghana: Sod Cut for Reconstruction of UE Regional Hospital

Ghana’s Minister for Health, Ms. Sherry Ayittey has disclosed that government is initiating plans to gradually construct teaching hospitals in all the 10 regions of Ghana. This will allow for the training and retention of adequate numbers of medical doctors in the regions.

Ms Ayittey made the disclosure at a ceremony held at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital in the Upper East region during which she cut the sod for the reconstruction of the regional hospital. She noted that the reconstruction of the hospital into a modern one with cutting edge health equipment is to enable it provide secondary and tertiary health care services to the people of the region as well as to patients from neighbouring Burkina Faso and Togo.

The Saudi Fund for Development is the main financier of the project which is scheduled to be completed within 18 months.

The Health Minister who further revealed that government’s vision is to increase the bed capacity of each regional hospital to 240, said discussions between the Ghana Government and the Saudi Authorities for the reconstruction of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital were sealed in 2008 at which time 12 million US Dollars was released for the commencement of phase one works. She, however, noted that only one-third of the total contract sum of 48 million US Dollars has so far been secured while the needed procedural steps are being taken for the release of the outstanding balance.

According to Ms Ayittey, the project manager has been directed to roll out a comprehensive maintenance programme that will train the Ghanaian health staff on the proper handling, usage and best maintenance methods of the new modern equipment and apparatus that will be installed at the facility. She appealed to the contractor, Berock Ventures Limited to do everything possible to complete all necessary works by the 20th January, 2015 deadline.

Upon completion, the hospital will have a modern blood bank with appropriate refrigerators, new Ear-Nose & Throat Unit, Eye Department, Neo-natal Care Unit, a specialised Accident and Emergency Unit, a Modern Dental Clinic and a state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit among others.

Ms Ayittey promised the hospital’s staff that her ministry would source additional funding for the construction of staff accommodation units, procurement of power stations as well as put up a new morgue, workshops and a modern laundry facility for the hospital.

Mr Ashraf Hassan who spoke on behalf of the Royal Saudi Embassy said works on the project started in 2010 with the Saud Consult providing the needed technical advice and support to the contractor.

He said the reconstruction of the hospital would give it a bed capacity of 175 with supporting diagnostic facilities such as CT Scan, MRI unit and an improved pharmacy among others.

The sod cutting ceremony attracted several dignitaries including the Upper East Regional Director of Health, Dr. J. Koku Awoonor-Williams and his staff, some Municipal and District Chief Executives, health development partners, paramount chiefs, heads of decentralised departments and the land owners on whose land the hospital is situated.

Investing in Africa – Who Takes The Lead?

By Ike Chioke, Friends Africa Global Health Champion and CEO AFRINVEST West Africa

A financial windfall in the health sector can only be a reality if healthcare evolves from a social concept to a business opportunity. This ideology can be revamped with the design of policies that rapidly incorporate investment prerogatives into key segments of the healthcare industry while providing a conducive environment for investors.

 

Did you know?

The African continent has 6 out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world and is a vital player in the global resource space. Ironically, the continent has the highest disease burden in the world. To further narrow the scope, Sub-Saharan Africa makes up 11.0% of the world’s population but accounts for 24.0% of the global disease burden according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The-Naira-360x241 (2)

Grappling with rising population, Africa has significantly low health care spending, government-run facilities are far from cutting edge, skilled health workers and vital medicines are in short supply, and there are persistent geographical disparities between urban and rural settlements.

 

Advocating an Investment Perspective for Healthcare Delivery

In a bid to address these challenges in healthcare and in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 53 African countries signed the Abuja Declaration, pledging to devote 15.0% of their annual budgets to healthcare. However, while a universal fiscal coverage may be the best solution, the associated cost burden leaves the government significantly out of pocket.

 

Concurrently, private participation in African economies, i.e. Ghana, Gambia, South Africa, India etc. has improved significantly within the last decade with the emergence of health insurance schemes These schemes, however, cover a miniscule percentage of the population, e.g. India currently has a population of 1.2 billion and a scheme that covers approximately 240 million citizens (i.e. 19.0% of the population) while the state spends 4.0% of GDP on health. Nigeria has a population of 170 million, a health scheme that covers approximately 20 million citizens, i.e. 11.8% of the population, which is privately and publicly funded and allocates 6.1% of the budget to the health sector.

 

To fast track development processes, it is believed that the development of a vibrant healthcare delivery system cannot be possible without an effective workforce. Hence, private institutions are advised to partner with leading health advocacy organizations to equip healthcare workers and civil society groups with skills to deliver quality health care services. One of such partnerships can be gleaned from Afrinvest’s role in partnering with Friends Africa to train well over 60 Grassroots NGOs from 26 African countries during its Grassroots NGO Capacity Building Seminar” in Accra, Ghana.

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Healthcare Financing Gaps and Investment Opportunities

The healthcare financing system in Africa is poor, to say the least. As already established, public spending on health is insufficient, and international donor funding is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain in the current global economic climate. However, the opportunities for private sector health investment in Africa have never been better, with Sub-Saharan African countries recording an unbroken pattern of economic growth in the past few years.

 

The healthcare market is large and diverse, with a value chain comprised of equipment manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, distributors & retailers, health service providers, health financing entities, and medical education providers. The entire value chain is in need of investment and areas where growth is likely to boom include but are not limited to the following:

 

Primary care – Rising population and largely underserved areas make this a good investment option.

Hospitals – Several business models exist for this from management contracts to joint ventures with local, public, or private entities to wholly foreign ownership of new and existing facilities.

Specialist Care Facilities – There is a dearth of centers for specialized care treatment like Assisted Fertility, Orthopaedics, Burns, Cancer Care, etc.

Technology & Information Systems – Given the size of the continent and shortage of skilled health workers, telemedicine can help bridge the gap in healthcare and good information management systems are key to better clinical care coordination, hospital administration and resource management.

Looking Forward

It is estimated that Sub-Saharan Africa’s healthcare market will spike to $35.0bn by 2016. This figure is set to increase even further in the years ahead, fuelled by both domestic and international investments as well as an ever-increasing demand for healthcare.

 

The transformation of the African healthcare system into a more viable industry ought to be driven by consistent structural and socio-political reforms over a sustained period. Policy-makers would have to take a cue from other emerging and developed economies, such as India, Brazil and the U.K. on how to tackle healthcare challenges at the institutional level and at the grassroots.

 

In addition, the relationship between the public and private sectors should be enhanced through a combination of drastic reforms that create a burgeoning market for investors, while placing health care at the core of development. We are certain that a combination of these steps will leapfrog investment in health and lead to quality healthcare delivery for Africans.

Ike-Chioke-233x300

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ike Chioke is a Friends Africa Global Health Champion and CEO AFRINVEST West Africa

Friends Africa Partners with GBCHealth in Fight Against Malaria

Friends Africa and GBCHealth will jointly host a private sector forum  themed “Capitalizing on Competencies to Eliminate Malaria and Accelerate Impact on Maternal and Child Health” on Tuesday, July 2, 2014* with key speakers from Abt Associates, Access Bank, Chevron Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria and so many more!

This forum will examine how corporate workplace and community malaria programs can support national strategies in Nigeria’s push to achieve the MDGs. The forum will also highlight where and how integration of malaria with maternal and child health interventions can accelerate progress in improving health outcomes.

 

For enquiries, send an email to fojelabi@friends-africa.org

 

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