Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, GBCHealth, and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) are pushing an initiative, African Business Coalition for Health (ABC Health), that is targeted at tackling basic health challenges in the continent.

The ambitious plan that brings together business leaders in Africa was launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday with assurances from government to collaborate for healthier Africans.

At the event, business leaders and Heads of State gathered for the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum 2019, which witnessed the launch of the official logo of the ABC Health.

This launch took place on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit Heads of Governments and Business Community leaders across Africa, which examined opportunities to accelerate economic development and growth of the continent through a healthcare reform agenda that focuses on the wellbeing of employees for a more active and productive workforce.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote, who was represented by the Foundation’s Executive Director, Halima Aliko-Dangote, said Africa Business Health Forum would identify issues and solutions to Africa’s health challenges with a view to mobilising the will to confront it headlong.

He said it was a well-known fact that a vital relationship existed between health and economic growth and development in Africa, as healthy populations live longer, are more productive, and save more.

“Governments from both developed and developing countries are increasingly looking at public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a way to expand access to higher-quality health services by leveraging capital, managerial capacity, and know-how from the private sector.

“Africa’s healthcare systems demand significant investments to meet the needs of their growing populations, changing patterns of diseases and the internationally-agreed development goals,” Dangote said.

He said as a businessman, and through Aliko Dangote foundation, he was committed to working with governments and key stakeholders for the development of impactful health initiatives in Africa in the belief that private sector leaders had a strong role to play.

Back in his home country, Dangote informed his audience that in keeping with his passion to see a healthier African people and better continent he had proposed that business leaders commit at least one per cent of their profit after tax to support the health sector.

Also Read: Police Nab 2 Men With 14 Bags Of Specimen Ballot Papers

In his own remark, the Co-Chair of the GBCHealth, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said while Africa has made significant progress in the funding of healthcare, “we are still very far from where we need to be to achieve SDG Goal 3,”

He lamented that the healthcare in Africa is constrained by scarce public funding and limited donor support, and that the out of pocket expenditure accounts for 36% of Africa’s total healthcare spend pointing out that given the income levels in Africa, it is no surprise that healthcare spend in Africa is grossly inadequate to meet Africa’s needs leading to a financing gap of 66 billion Naira per annum.

Mr Imhokuede said it was clear that African government alone cannot solve this challenge, which is further exacerbated by our growing population and Africa’s changing disease portfolio. Therefore there is no alternative but to turn to the private sector to complement government funding.

“Our continent accounts for less than 2% of global health even though our very fertile people account for 16% of global population and carry 26% of the global disease burden.

"By 2050 Africans will account for more than 50% of global population growth much of that coming from my country Nigeria, a great opportunity and at the same time a ticking time bomb should we fail our health systems quickly,” he told the gathering.

If you enjoyed reading this and our other stories, please, share with friends and loved ones.

How EPL Is 'Cutting Tickets' Of Nigerians