African Leaders Parley in Addis Ababa On Healthy Workforce

11 February 2019

African heads of states and business leaders will gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to examine opportunities to accelerate the continent's economic development through a healthcare reform agenda that focuses on the wellbeing of employees for a more active and productive workforce.

The Africa Business Health Forum (ABHF), scheduled to take place on the margins of the 32nd African Union (AU) summit, will also unify Africa's key decision-makers in exploring opportunities for catalysing growth in the continent's economy, through business partnerships in the health sector.

It targets solutions to Africa's health challenges with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in the continent.

Organised by GBCHealth, a private sector coalition focused on improving health outcomes, together with Aliko Dangote Foundation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the forum will hold tomorrow in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

AU chairman and president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi; director-general, World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus; chairperson, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and executive director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibe, are some of the eminent personalities confirmed to participate in the high-level dialogue at the first African Business: Health Forum.

Others include President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed.

According to entrepreneur and co-chair at GBCHealth, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, African leaders now have a stronger sense of urgency to combat the lack of quality healthcare that Africans endure. "The inequality of healthcare available to Africans compared to people in other parts of the globe is vast and unacceptably pervasive. With the cooperation of both the public and private sectors, there is a huge potential to boost health outcomes with significant financial gains," he said.

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, added: "African Business: Health Forum promises to be a game-changer. Our goal is to mobilise private sector capabilities to save millions of lives by focusing on innovation, partnerships, advocacy and impact investments."

Key highlights of the forum is the launch of the Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa Report and African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), a coalition that will mobilise a core group of private sector champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health systems across Africa.

ABCHealth seeks to create a unified African business community that will collaborate with African governments.

Conversations will centre on the findings of the Healthcare and Economic Growth report, which underscores the inability of the government to single-handedly finance Africa's healthcare sector. It recommends a new model, one in which Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) prioritise the most significant disease burden and broaden their scope to benefit the health of the whole continent, which is deemed critical to driving long-term economic growth.

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